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How to score big on Cyber Monday deals and avoid common online scams

Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping holidays featuring sales on some of this year's most popular items.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Monday is Cyber Monday, and online shoppers are on the hunt for the best deals. 

Research shows Black Friday shopping hit an all-time high this year, so Monday's online deals could draw in more people than ever before. 

With all the deals come potential opportunities for scammers. 

Americans spent more than $9 billion on Black Friday shopping, now all eyes are on Monday's totals. 

Cyber Monday features some of the best online deals of the season, discounting those hot ticket items like electronics, home appliances, and more.

Experts say whenever you shop online, you need to be on alert for potential scams to keep your information and your money safe. 

Online shoppers should look out for deals that seem too good to be true, fake websites, and untrustworthy sellers. 

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Of course, everyone wants to land a great discount and spend as little as possible, but if a deal seems just way too good to be true, it probably isn’t real, especially on a website you haven’t heard of. 

Pete Van Ness, with the University of New Haven's Cyber Risk Management program, said one of the biggest scams on Cyber Monday is called phishing.

It has nothing to do with actual fish. 

Phishing is a way criminals get you to share information, normally through fake emails pretending to have a great deal or sale from one of your favorite stores. 

"Cyber criminals out there have become very, very savvy making those phishing emails look very realistic. Whether they're from your bank, local hardware stores or a big online retailer, you have to be careful about clicking those links in an email," said Van Ness. 

He said one of the best things you can do to protect yourself when you shop online is to use a credit card, not a debit card. This helps keep your money safe just in case something goes wrong, and your information is compromised. 

It's best not to use the same password for all your websites. If your log-in information is all the same, it can increase your chances of being hacked on every website that has your credit card or debit card information saved. 

Van Ness said it's best to use a phrase password instead of just one word with numbers. 

Check if websites are legit or not by doing a quick google search. If you have to question it, it’s probably not safe to risk it.

Looking at some of those feature deals on those big items, the best deals on smart TVs are on Amazon.

The best deal on Airpods is also on Amazon, but the best deal on some big kitchen appliances is on Walmart's website. 

There are some big price differences from company to company, so shoppers should make sure to search around to find the best deal. 

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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