Cyber Monday 2020 reached new highs. It was projected to be the largest online shopping day in US history, and it was. 2020 brought a 15% increase over last year coming in with a $10.8 billion spend for the day.

We’ve made it past Cyber Monday, but online shopping doesn’t end there. Instead, most Americans will be purchasing their holiday gifts this year online from the safety of their homes. 70% of Americans plan on making most of their holiday purchases online this year compared to 50% in 2019. The increase in online shopping while convenient and safe also increases consumers’ risk for hackers to steal personal data and payment information.

A few of the most common scams consumers will run into this holiday season include:

Phishing Attempts: Consumers must be wary of phishing emails this holiday season. These emails are designed to look like authentic messages from well-known brands; however, it is an elaborate ruse to steal sensitive information. Consumers should not share any payment information via email and should always check to see if the sender is legitimate.

Malicious Advertising: Malicious Advertising is a scam in which hackers run fake ads to steal consumer credit card information. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true or clicking an ad from a social media website. These ads could be potentially fraudulent and set up to trick consumers.

Unsecured Websites: Always look for the “https” on a website. This identifies that the website is secure, and consumer information will be encrypted on their website. Also, check a website’s privacy policy to understand how your information will be stored and used. If there’s no privacy policy, that is a big red flag.

Bank Notifications: Another form of phishing that cybercriminals employ is sending fake banking notifications to consumers’ mobile devices. The hacker will send a phony fraud alert in hopes that the user will click on the link and share personal information. Banks will not contact you in any way to share sensitive information over text.

Charity Fraud: Charity Fraud is popular during the holiday season. Bogus charity collectors may come knocking or calling, but make sure to validate the legitimacy before donating any money.