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      Black Friday and Cyber Monday are gold mines for scammers

      With the amazing deals and unbelievable bargains, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a shopper TMs dream, but it's also become a gold mine for scammers.

      A recent survey by Identity Theft 9-1-1 found 21 percent of online shoppers provide their mother's maiden name in order to make a purchase and even scarier, two percent would give out their social security number.

      Alarming stats that could spoil your cyber deal hunting.So instead, be prepared and follow some simple rules to protect your identity.

      Dr. Jerald Hughes, a Computer Information Systems Professor at the University of Texas Pan American and said the same kind of risks that you would normally find shopping online are typically heightened during the holiday season.

      He suggested that before you start shopping, update your virus scan software and your computer software in order to improve your chances of detecting new viruses.

      Basic advice is don TMt click on the link," said Hughes.

      He also said be wary of any emailed offers from retailers you didn't subscribe to - that goes for Facebook messages from friends or direct messages on twitter because those accounts may have been hacked

      But most all and this one is important he said, anytime it TMs too good to be true, then it TMs too good to be true."

      A better tactic - shop on credible sites you trust.

      Remember if someone makes unauthorized purchase with your debit card you are not liable for those transactions if you report them within 60 days.

      Get a single use credit card rather than put your free credit card out there for the purchases your making, said the UTPA professor. Most credit cards companies will provide you with a one-use option... Its only good for that one purchase and even if someone does get a hold of it and theres nothing they can do with it.

      Shop smart and make sure your Black Friday is the real deal.