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Cyber-Monday Sales Expected to Surpass Black Friday – Online Buyers Beware

November 26, 2009 by
Filed under: Business, Online Privacy, trademark, Trademark Articles 

With Black Friday sales already underway, the National Retail Federation forecasts that Cyber Monday will will likely exceed more than $900 million in online sales with online retailers offering additional incentives to promote e-buying.   According to a new Shop.org survey, 87% of retailers will offer a Cyber Monday promotion, up from 72% in 2007.  Promotions range from one-day sales to special emails.

However, online buyers need to beware — if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is a scam.  And, if someone is asking you for personal information to get onto a site for a “special” offer, then it might come at the price of your privacy, or even worse, identity theft.

The two most frequented online crimes during Cyber Monday are:

(1) Using trademarks that consumers trust to deceive the online consumer to provide personal information by sending phony email messages advertising sales; and

(2) Deceptive pop-up advertisements that show up on a retailer’s checkout page to trick the online buyer into increased spending.

With these in mind, the following is a suggested online buying check list:

(1) Look closely at the URL or domain name of a web page.  Someone surfing the web could mistype the URL and unintentionally land on a site that appears like an intended merchant.

(2) Look for an authorized retailer logo on a web page if you question the authenticity of the goods.  If you can’t tell, then look up the URL of the merchant on www.whois.domaintools.com to find out additional information about the online merchant — who is the URL registered, how long on the web, etc.

(3) Examine emails sent to you including addresses of who sent the email message and the URL links contained in the message.  Just because there is a highlighted brand name in the email doesn’t mean that hotlink will take a consumer to the trusted merchant.  Again, the online user may wan to visit www.whois.domaintools.com to find out additional information on the suggested URL.

(4) Report suspicious URLs and emails to the company who is associated with the misused trademark and to Internet crime organizations such as the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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