SEATTLE, WA - The Washington State Attorney General wants to make sure Cyber Monday shoppers are buying with caution.
The following is a list of tips from Bob Ferguson to help you stay safe if you're shopping online.
• Protect your computer. Make sure your computer has the most recent updates for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.
• If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Offers on web sites, and in unsolicited e-mails, can often sound too good to be true, especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items.
• Beware of phishing. Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the 'buyer' into revealing financial information. Do NOT reply to the email and do NOT provide confidential or identifying information, like your Social Security Number or your credit card.
• Confirm your online purchase is secure. Shoppers should always look in the address box for the 's' in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the 'lock' symbol before paying.
• Pay with credit cards whenever possible. It's easier to contest the charge if products are defective or misrepresented.
• Understand the return policy. Just like a brick and mortar retailer, online retailers may charge 'restocking fees' or exorbitant shipping and handling fees.
• Check your credit card statements often. By the time you get the credit card bill in January, a thief may have already burned through your limit.
• Know your rights. Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren't shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund.