Many people will forego the malls and discount centers and do all of their Christmas shopping online, but even then you're still not safe from criminals. There are a few things you can do to protect your personal credit information from cyber thieves.
Brian Davidenko, an online shopper, said, "Online I can click around and look at different thing, pick and choose what I want quick and easy."
And it seems a lot more Americans are thinking like Brian Davidenko. Twenty two billion dollars is expected to be spent in online holiday purchase, but as the number of online shoppers grow, so do the number of cyber criminals.
The good news is you can shop smart to avoid fraud and phishing scams.
Ruth Sasser, BCSO PIO, said, "We recommend you don't buy anything on an overseas site or that claims to be a product that comes from overseas."
Chain stores and online catalog websites are generally more secure.
"If you look on the bottom corner on the toolbar, you will see a little padlock and that will let you know you're on a secure site. Also, there should be some information stating that, either on that page or the page preceding."
Here's some more tips make it tougher for cyber thieves. Avoid unsolicited emails. Do not click on any links inside the message. Legitimate sites are usually short and followed by .com, .net or .org, and if you're not sure, just don't buy on that site; chances are you'll find the same item on another site that give you a more secure feeling.
Here's another tip. Check the online business for past consumer complaints. It's easy. Just log onto www.ripoffreport.com.