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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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Cyber Monday Ripe with Opportunities for Scammers

Online retailers offer major deals and discounts during Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, but shoppers should be wary of internet scam sites.

After the exhaustion of standing in Black Friday lines and fending off pepper-spraying customers, the quiet soiltude of online shopping is a welcome retreat come Monday. 

Cyber Monday, as it has become known, was born in 2005 after a retailers and trade groups began noticing that online sales spiked the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Online shoppers hit the sales (Associated Press)
Online shoppers hit the sales (Associated Press)

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that 122.9 million Americans will shop online today, up from 106.9 million who made Cyber Monday purchases last year, according to a survey conducted for

Last year, Cyber Monday brought in $1,028 million in revenue, compared to the $648 million in offline sales on Black Friday, according to numbers released by comScore.

On the downside, Cyber Monday presents an opportunity for widespread scams and identity theft.

Unwary online shoppers may be tempted to click on pop-up banners and visit unfamiliar sites in pursuit of good deals, but such sites are potentially the territory of hackers and scammers.   

Already, 150 websites have had seizure orders issued against them by the Department of Justice for illegal activity, including selling counterfeit and pirated merchandise.

"We are aggressively targeting those who are selling counterfeit goods for their own personal gain while costing our economy much-needed revenue and jobs," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Monday. 

This internet crackdown operation began last year, and is headed by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, with help from the FBI. 

The Better Business Bureau compiled these tips for online shoppers on how to snag good deals without getting scammed.



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