How to fight porch pirates and avoid getting scammed on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is here! But beware, this is the season where scammers and porch pirates strike. Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim.

Posted: Nov. 27, 2017 7:16 AM

A record number of Americans are expected to shop on Cyber Monday this year.

According to Adobe Digital Insights, a company that tracks online spending, shoppers are expected to spend about $6.6 billion this year on Cyber Monday, up 17 percent from last year.

Prime shopping season creates opportunity for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. Here are tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Be extra careful shopping on a mobile browser. Scammers can create fake websites that may look legit.
- Watch out for fake apps that can steal your personal information and extort money by locking for phone.
- Make sure to use a website with a valid "https" connection and a lock symbol. Experts say websites with just "http" next to them are more vulnerable to attacks.
- Avoid clicking on any unsolicited e-mails that could be phishing.

READ MORE: Consumer Reports: Beware of online holiday shopping scams.

After you place your order, you're still not out of the clear. "Porch pirates" take advantage of high delivery season to steal packages from people's houses.

CNBC reports USPS and UPS expect to deliver a combined 1.6 billion packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

According to a survey conducted by Nextdoor, a neighborhood social network:
- 43% of neighbors report having at least one package stolen, and over 40% of neighbors had multiple packages stolen
- 61% of neighbors say they did not order an item because they were afraid it would be stolen
- 79% of neighbors reported they would ask a neighbor for help looking out for a delivery if they had an easy way to do so

Springfield Police advise shoppers to try to have packages delivered to your workplace if you can't have a neighbor take care of it for you.

READ MORE: Police warn shoppers not to leave items in car this holiday season.

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