Reporter - Nathan O'Neal

Nov 26, 2012 8:12 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Homeland Security investigators crack down on bogus websites on Cyber Monday

TUCSON - As the latest push in the holiday season transitions to Cyber Monday, all that online shopping comes with the opportunity for scams.

With the clatter of keys and the click of a mouse, personal information can be shared across the world. That has U.S and European law enforcement closing the books on hundreds of fake websites.

Kathy Leroy has shopped online before, but was scammed when trying to buy vitamins. Leroy says the company charged her credit card 20 times.

"I had to go to the bank, close an account, it was a big hassle," said Leroy.

Leroy doesn't trust internet shopping anymore, even with the tempting Cyber Monday deals.

As the first official holiday shopping weekend is capped off by Cyber Monday, retail experts say online business is bigger than ever.

"Consumers are using all kinds of different platforms-- they're expecting about 120 million shoppers and $68 billion in sales," said Martha Van Gelder, of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.

132 websites are now off limits to sales, shut down by ICE Homeland Security investigators who teamed up internationally to crack down on bogus websites.

"These domains were selling counterfeit goods to unsuspecting consumers," said Special Agent Francisco Burrola of Homeland Security Investigations.

DHS investigators say the best way to avoid falling prey to these scams is to stick to reliable websites and do research on products before making any purchases.

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