Cyber Monday Shoppers Log On for Holiday Bargains

November 26, 2007 - Posted at 2:45 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- If you logged online Monday at work, chances are you might have been shopping for a bargain.  It is "Cyber Monday" of the busiest on-line retail days of the year.

According to the National Retail Foundation, more than 60 million people are expected to shop at work this holiday season...up 18% from last year.

But as the popularity of the internet grows, so does the danger. Approximately 58 million shoppers wrestled their way into stores on Black Friday, giving retailers a $9 billion boost, but today, online retailers say it's their turn.

It's tempting to sit back, relax and let the holiday bargains come to you...which is what on-line shopper Andy Whitaker is doing on Cyber Monday.

"The big advantage I have with shopping online is that I don't have to fight the crowds, I can check out all the products on line and compare them. I can just purchase online with my credit card, go to the store and pick it up, usually at a designated counter and I am in and out in five minutes," said Whitaker as he searched for a digital camera.

On-line shopping is up nearly 20% from last year, but with more folks in cyber space, more are finding themselves the victims of fraud...about one in 10.

"A lot of times you want to use your credit card, not your debit card. It offers another layer of protection there because your money isn't directly being taken out of your account when you use a credit card," said Whitaker.

Shopping secure sites like E-bay and large scale retailers can help keep you from getting scammed.

"I know a lot of people my age are more adapt to shopping online, we just consider that first, rather than purchasing from the store right away...and especially to the male consumer. We don't want to go to the stores," smiled Whitaker, "If the female in your life gives you an item, you can go look it up online, type it in exactly and there it is, there's no question about it."

But like Whitaker warns, watch your back when you are online. Nearly 40% of all identity theft will occur during November 15 and December 31 of this year.

There are about 80,000 different web retailers available online for an estimated 35 million items.