MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you decided to skip the lines at the malls on Black Friday and do most of your bargain hunting online on Cyber Monday you going to have a lot of company.

The National Retail Federation expects close to 70 million people are seeking deals online on Monday.

“Last year, Cyber Monday alone generated more than $7 billion nationwide in sales, and many Floridians will be surfing the web today and throughout the remainder of the holiday season for the perfect presents for their loved ones,” said state Attorney General Ashley Moody.

According to Adobe Analytics, Americans are expected to spend a record $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday, which is a 19-percent hike from last year.

But, buyer beware!

Online scammers are lurking in hopes of stealing your money.

According to the findings of Shred-it’s recent International Fraud Awareness Week Report, one third of consumers claim to be victims of fraud, with 41-percent reporting that the source of identity theft was from breached credit card information.

SAFETY TIPS:

  • Don’t open promotional emails from unfamiliar retailers
  • Shop on reputable websites
  • Do not use the same password for everything
  • Check your credit card or bank statement every week to make sure there aren’t any purchases you didn’t make
  • Use a credit card for online purchases instead of a debit card. Both methods allow for charge disputes; however, with a debit card, the purchase is immediately deducted from the bank account and may take days or weeks to reverse the charge.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi while making any purchases which can give hackers access to your transactions.
  • Use only secure websites. Look for a URL that begins with “https.” The “s” indicates that the website is more secure. A padlock icon should appear next to the web address on your browser.
  • Limit the number of companies that get your personal information and avoid ads, coupons, or email solicitations from unknown senders—if the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Don’t overspend: Make a list of what you need before you start your shopping, including the max price you’re willing to spend so that you don’t purchase items you don’t really need just because they’re on sale.
  • Make sure you know the model numbers or specs for what you’re looking for so you don’t get swayed into purchasing a lesser model that appears to be available for a great price.

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