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ON YOUR SIDE: Avoiding Cyber Monday Scams

COLUMBUS (Kate Liebers) -- Retail experts predicted shoppers will shell out $2 billion taking advantage of Cyber Monday online deals -- but not all advertisements are what they seem.

Better Business Bureau officials warned shoppers of fake websites designed to look like legitimate retailers.

"They use the credibility of the organizations. They use logos of their fonts or their graphics -- all to look familiar," said Joan Coughlin of BBB. 

"If there isn't a privacy policy, then consider that a red flag that they're going to sell you information," she said.

Columbus Division of Police also advised shoppers check the retailer's return and shipping policies, and to use caution before opening emails.

"We recommend that if someone is looking for an item, not to click on the links provided on the emails or social networking sites, but to type in the actual web addresses themselves," Sgt. Wyatt Wilson said. 

Coughlin also reminded web surfers that if a deal looks too good to be true, it might not be.

"You need to take your time and due diligence...and not trust everyone that comes along with a great deal," she said. 

CPD said shoppers who suspect they have been victimized should contact their credit card company and file a police report.

Last year alone, federal agents busted more than 1,500 fake retail websites during the holiday season. So far, there have been no reports of any major problems locally.
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