GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Cyber Monday is here and so are online scammers who are ready to take advantage of pandemic-prompted challenges.

According to the Better Business Bureau, shipping delays and product shortages mean items you’re looking for may not available, and scammers know that. Here are five ways to protect yourself while finding the best deal:

  • Beware of phony websites: Scammers love to create sites that look legitimate. Double check the URL of the site you’re visiting. Make sure your the site provides accurate contact information and customer service numbers.
  • Do your homework: Compare prices among retailers before you buy to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only: Check for secure web addresses that begin with “https,” not “http.”
  • Understand store return and exchange policies: Some returns may not be allowed on certain items.
  • Use your credit card: Never make online purchases with prepaid debit cards or wire money. Credit cards usually offer protections, giving shoppers a better chance at recovering lost or stolen money from a bogus transaction.

“Scammers will make it hard to avoid a scam,” Katie Grevious, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan said. “For people who don’t shop all the time, this is the perfect time to fall for one of those scams. So it’s really important to know what you’re doing and stop and think before you do any actions.”

If you see a scam, report it to tracker.