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Cyber Monday Tips: Protect your identity while online shopping

Pay by credit card, which is the most secure payment method. Under federal law, charges can be disputed and consumer liability for theft is limited so long as consumers promptly notify the bank or credit card issuer. (MGN Photo)

Cyber Monday's great online deals bring savings for countless American shoppers, but each year numerous fall victim to identity thieves.

“Arkansans need to remain guarded when it comes to protecting personal and financial information,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals often have us all shopping online more, but predatory scam artists are ready and waiting for an opportunity to steal your money."

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help keep consumers safe while online shopping:

  • Look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar, and the abbreviation “https” in the web address to be sure information is secure and to help guard the security of your information as it is transmitted to a website. Be sure your browser has the most up-to-date encryption capabilities by using the latest version available from the manufacturer.
  • Be cautious when buying gifts from an online auction. Understand how the auction works and check out the seller’s reputation before bidding. Always ask about terms of delivery and return options. Never wire money for the purchase; use some other form of payment.
  • Keep records of online transactions and check for emails from merchants while doing business. Merchants may email important information about purchases.
  • Pay by credit card, which is the most secure payment method. Under federal law, charges can be disputed and consumer liability for theft is limited so long as consumers promptly notify the bank or credit card issuer. Additionally, many credit card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the purchaser pays nothing if his or her credit card is stolen and used to make unauthorized purchase

According to the National Retail Federation, 55 percent of consumers cited online shopping as the most popular shopping destination this year and holiday sales are expected to grow 4.1 percent over last year.

It's important to research companies before completing online purchases and to check anticipated delivery dates to ensure that packages will arrive in time for the holidays.

For more safe online shopping tips, click here.

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