When you’re online shopping on Cyber Monday, it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement and potentially fall for a scam.


Look out for links and attachments in emails or popups that could contain malware that steals your credit card information. For example, if you get an email that says it’s from a retailer with a promotion or “free offer” that looks skeptical or too good to be true, NEVER click on the link. Visit the retailer’s website directly by typing its name in your browser. Make sure the URL (web address) starts with “https” and that there are no other misspellings in the company name. Also, double-check that the company has a phone number to call if there are any problems.


Another common way that scammers attempt to steal your personal information is through fake shipping notifications disguised as shipping companies like FedEx or UPS. If you receive an email or text message about a shipment that you don’t recognize, stop before you click on any links. Contact the retailer or company through a phone number or website that you know is legitimate, the FTC recommends.


  • Take time to compare products. To get the best deal, compare products. Do research online, check product comparison sites, and read online reviews.
  • Check out the seller. Confirm that the seller is legit. Look for reviews about their reputation and customer service, and be sure you can contact the seller if you have a dispute.
  • Look for coupon codes. Search the store’s name with terms like “coupons,” “discounts,” or “free shipping.”
  • Pay by credit card. Paying by credit card gives you added protection. Never mail cash or wire money to online sellers. If the seller asks you to pay this way, it could be a scam.
  • Use secure checkout. Before you enter your credit card information online, check that the website address starts with “https.” The “s” stands for secure. If you don’t see the “s,” don’t enter your information.
  • Keep records of online transactions until you get the goods, confirm you got what you ordered, and that you’re satisfied you won’t have to return the item.

If you spot a fraud while shopping online this holiday season, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.