BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Shoppers who love a good deal typically have a lot to look forward to Thanksgiving weekend, and this holiday season delivered.

Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27 are bookended by holiday savings that began with Black Friday specials and will end with Cyber Monday savings.

But as consumers prepare to spend this coming Monday scouring their favorite online haunts for deals, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a few safety reminders for eager shoppers to consider.

According to a Sunday news release, the BBB advises:

Beware of false advertising and phony websites

Watch out for false advertising and keep a close eye on the web address in your browser. Scammers love to create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted
retailer. Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have
legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.

Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only

Be wary of businesses you aren’t familiar with. Check their BBB Business Profile on BBB.org, look at the rating, and read customer reviews. In addition, be sure any web page you purchase from
is secure. Secure web addresses begin with HTTPS:// and not just HTTP://.

Keep your antivirus software up to date

Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer or mobile device, and that it is up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams.

Price check before you buy

Dozens of online retailers will claim they have the best price on an item, but their offers can be misleading. Do your homework by comparing prices.

Take advantage of rewards and loyalty programs

Check your credit card rewards program for special point offers that could add up on Cyber Monday and throughout the holidays. Make purchases using loyalty programs; many major
retailers offer them.

Use your credit card

It’s always best to make online purchases with your credit card. If any shady charges turn up later, you will be able to contest them through your credit card company. Debit cards don’t offer this same protection.

Understand return policies

Online store policies may change for Cyber Monday offers. Read the fine print before you buy. Understand the return or exchange policy for the specific item you would like to purchase. Be aware that stores may not allow returns for “final sale” or “closeout” items. Make sure to get gift receipts, so the recipient can return or exchange the item if necessary.

Watch out for phishing scams

Busy schedules and increased purchases make it easier to miss – and fall victim to – a phishing scam. Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. These messages may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information. Avoid phishing scams by ignoring suspicious correspondence and calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.


Click here for more information from the BBB about how to shop safely this holiday season.