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Don't Get Hooked: Online shopping

Don't get hooked while online shopping.

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

Holiday sales in the United States are projected to exceed one trillion dollars for the first time.

Much of that buying will be done online.

We have some tips to help make sure your shopping season stays cheerful.

Cyber Monday is the biggest day of the year for cyber thieves, and the Arkansas Better Business Bureau wants to make sure that you don't get hooked.

It's convenient. It's quick. Free shipping can make it advantageous.

Online shopping is as popular as ever. But with it comes a dark side: cyber criminals.

"We're already getting, you know, a little bit of a spike in inquiries and concerns about online shopping sites," says Janet Robb with the Arkansas Better Business Bureau.

E-commerce sales will make up about 12 percent of all holiday retail sales this season. That's over 123 billion. You will see lots of promotions, perks and low prices. Not all of them will be legit.

Robb says to help protect yourself, don't be impulsive. Check out retailers at www.bbb.org before you buy. Verify a phone number and physical address.

Read fine print. Are returns allowed? If so, are there any restrictions?

Too-good-to-be-true pop ups and ads on social media can be click-bait. They usually feature hard-to-find items and claim very few remain so you must buy now.

Keep documentation and confirmation numbers related to your orders.

And use a credit...not debit...card

"A debit card that money comes out of your account immediately,” cautions Robb. “And so what does that mean? That means you've got to go find that seller to put the money back into your account. And if they're gone, they're gone. With a credit card...that's not the case. The bill comes in and then you choose whether to pay it.”

Brick and mortar shopping still makes up close to 90 percent of the sales during the final two months of the year. Be careful no matter how you shop.

And you can visit www.bbb.org for more cyber shopping security tips.

Air date: November 7th, 2018

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