MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Cyber Monday is soon upon us and cyber criminals are also looking to snag your personal information. WREG spoke with security expert Bennie Cobb to learn how best to protect ourselves online.

“The first level of protection starts with us. It starts with being cautious,” Cobb said. He knows if you are not careful, you could quickly find yourself in a criminal’s sights.

Make sure the website you’re visiting is protected. The address for any site you visit should begin with “https”. The “s” stands for secure.

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of multiple scams this season as well.

“It’s a big-time operation. You were going to these copycat sites that you think might be the real site,” Bennie Cobb told us. “You will give them your credit card information that will make it into a site that’s not real.”

However, the financial impact could be all too real.

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2020 report, non-payment or non-delivery scams cost shoppers more than $265 million last year, with credit card fraud accounting for another $129 million in losses.

The bottom line is, you have to protect your bottom dollar. Some advice for the holidays: do your research and check product as well as site reviews.

And remember the old adage: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“We have to do things differently,” Cobb said. “People are absolutely trying to relieve us of our money.”

It’s more important than ever to stay alert and stop would-be scammers from stealing your finances and festive cheer.