CHICAGO — As shoppers head online for Cyber Monday deals this holiday season, the economy is top of mind for many.
“We do see consumers are anxious and measures of consumer sentiment are weak on the other hand we continue to see consumers spend,” PNC Bank Chief Economist Gus Faucher said.
Shoppers spent more than $9.1 billion on Black Friday, up about 2% from last year and consumers spent $9.55 billion in online sales over the weekend.
“What I think we may see is holiday shoppers will be buying more on the services side, maybe gift certificates, travel, and less on the goods side for the 2022 holiday season,” Faucher said.
When shopping online, cyber security experts say to beware of fake retailers or payment services trying to steal shoppers’ information.
“Fake giveaways, fake delivery confirmations or order receipts, even trying to have us install fake malicious applications those are things I’d be very watchful for,” Chris Peltz with GuidePoint Security said.
The best advice is to stick to reputable online retailers and use trusted payment services, like PayPal, that offer fraud protection.
“Don’t rush, look for misspellings,” Peltz said. “A lot of times in these fake ads or emails, they’ll get a retailer’s name wrong, something won’t be right and again think about the information they’re asking for. If I’m getting a delivery notice, I shouldn’t have to give a lot of personal information or even payment.”
Experts think many people will be working with a tighter budget and buying less expensive gifts for fewer people.