WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – Nearly two million more people than last year are expected to shop , but officials warn about cyber scams.

With millions shopping online during this Thanksgiving weekend shopping, scammers and hackers will also be browsing the web to steal your personal information.

A couple of local residents say they will be more cautious than ever. 

“We were hacked on the computer.” Says a local resident, Paul J. Thurman.

Thurman says he was a victim of a hacking when his wife answered the phone while they had their computer running. 

He says they got hacked when they refused to make any payments over the phone.  

“And she says ‘I’m not paying anything’. He just hacks our computer and we end up paying $600.00 for another computer. He took every bit of information that was on the computer.” Says Thurman.  

Joshua Aldridge is another local resident who says he prefers shopping in person and limits the use of his credit cards for online shopping.

“You know, it’s 2021 and people get in there and get your information in different ways. You know, some places like paypal and all that stuff like that will give you a little bit of buyer security ,and things like that. But as far as just putting my credit card information out there, it’s not something I’m trying to do a lot.” Says Aldridge. 

But what can residents do to protect their information? The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office provides a few simple safety tips :

• Use a single credit card and choose credit over debit.

• Verify website security. Secure sites begin with https:// instead of http://.  

• Be aware of unusually low prices. If one falls way below that range, be suspicious.  

As Thurman says, use your own wifi to shop online and stay away from suspicious websites

“You will recognize a funny looking thing coming up on the computer, and that’s usually a hacker. The best thing is to exit it and get off the website.” Says Thurman. 

Remember to use your safety tips for this Cyber Monday, and if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.