RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – As shoppers prepare for Cyber Monday deals in the midst of the holiday season, experts say online crooks are ready to steal your personal information.
The FBI has issued an alert about e-skimming, malicious code installed into a website to steal credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
An estimate of 164 million people are expected to shop starting today through Cyber Monday according to the National Retail Federation. While shopping online to skip the long lines at stores may seem like a better plan, experts say your identity could be at risk.
“When you start doing your Cyber Monday shopping, make sure that all of your firewalls are up and that all of your security applications are in place and current to make sure that your personal information isn’t stolen by a hacker,” said Dolores Salinas, President of the Better Business Bureau.
In October, Macy’s website was breached with hackers compromising customer’s information including addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and credit card numbers according to the retailer. Macy’s said the cyberattack happened through a card-skimming code that was planted on their online payment portal by an online thief.
“When it comes time to check out on a website make sure that you lookout for the http or https before the website or the lock. That tells you that when you put in your information, that your information is secure,” continued Salinas.
Experts also recommend paying with a credit card instead of debit.
“The debit card is through your bank and your bank may not have any assurances that if you buy the item and there’s a problem that they’ll be able to refund your money. When you buy with a major credit card you have that extra assurance that the credit card company will go to bat with you if the item is not as represented,” concludes Salinas.
If you have a problem with a website or item you bought online, the Better Business Bureau urges you to call them and file a complaint to help you resolve the problem.
The Better Business Bureau is located at 502 East Expressway in Weslaco. Their phone number is 969-1804.