Investigators warn fraudulent websites are trying to rip off holiday shoppers

Detroit (WXYZ) - The Monday after Thanksgiving has become known as Cyber Monday because it is one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.

Before you buy something on-line, you should know criminals are working to take advantage of Cyber Monday.

Special Agents with the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcements Office of Homeland Security Investigations team say there are many fraudulent sites out there trying to take your money or sell you counterfeit goods.

"A lot of times people purchase the products and don't get them. They get ripped off, or there are times when they get the products and they are substandard," said  Lorin Ellain, a HSI Special Agent.

She says fraudulent sites can be hard to spot.  They often imitate legitimate sites.  If you look closely sometimes you'll find misspellings and a lack of company contact information. If you can, she says it is safest to buy from companies that you know are legit.

If you are buying a name brand item, the brand may tell you who it works with so you can go to that retailer's site and avoid buying a fake.

Investigators say know in general how much something should cost, and that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 If you believe you have fallen victim to an Internet crime, you can report it at http://www.ice.gov/contact/.      
      

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