How online shoppers can avoid scams this holiday season

online holiday shopping
Photo credit FTiare/ Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The holiday shopping season is in full swing with Black Friday in the books, Small Business Saturday underway and Cyber Monday just days away. However, experts say scammers are hoping to capitalize on unsuspecting shoppers.​

Steve Bernas, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, said they’re keeping an eye on a scamming trend this holiday shopping season: false advertising and phony websites.

“It’s really these websites who allegedly have these sought-after items, the hottest items that you’re looking for, at really low prices,” he said. “It can almost seem too good to be true."

Bernas said doing your research is crucial in most cases.

“This Cyber Monday, make sure your antivirus software is up to date,” he advised. “Make sure you have this software on your computer and mobile devices. It will help you avoid these non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams which happen all the time.”

Other tips include using your credit card for online purchases, shopping on trustworthy sites and reporting any potential scams to the BBB.

"The only way to put scams out of business is not to give them your business.”