Protect yourself from cyber-scrooges when shopping online, but how?

MADISON (WITI) -- Consumers are not the only ones heading online at this time of the year. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection advises consumers to watch out for traps left by cybercriminals looking to empty your wallet while you fill your cart.

“Cyberthieves are aggressive at this time of year because they know how much money is exchanging hands,” said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “They are extremely creative in finding new ways to steal your money or personal information.”

Scams often target the hottest gift items. Criminals use fake websites, social media posts and email to trick you into providing your personal or banking information. Remember that a deal that sounds too good to be true probably is.

Keep your online shopping experience safe by following these simple tips:


    Last year’s sales on Cyber Monday topped $1.7 billion, setting the stage for even more online holiday shopping this year on Dec. 1, the Monday after Thanksgiving when websites traditionally offer exceptional deals.

    “Online shopping is a convenient way to shop; avoid waiting in lines and shop at any hour,” said Ran Hoth, BBB President and CEO. “However, the BBB reminds shoppers to be careful: The Internet is abundant with scams that can separate you from your money or steal your personal information.”

    Shoppers can prepare themselves for online shopping by browsing for the items they’re seeking in advance and comparison shopping. Read a site’s policies for returns and understand shipping policies before you enter your credit card number.

    BBB’s 10 tips for safe online shopping are as follows:

      Check a company’s BBB Business Review for free before you make a purchase at