Cyber Monday sales have become a big part of the holiday shopping season. Cyber Monday, in case you've been living Taliban-style in a cave somewhere, refers to the Monday after Black Friday when consumers go online (usually during work hours) to scour the Internet for deals. The trend goes beyond online specialists like Amazon or Overstock.com and includes specific specials from retail giants like Walmart and Target.

This year, Walmart is leading the pack by announcing, in advance, several of the Cyber Monday sales it plans on offering in 2012. For starters, Walmart is promoting the date as 'Walmart Cyber Week 2012' which promises to offer exclusive online deals for electronics all week long. The company is also promoting its mobile app that will notify users of current deals, rollbacks and location info in case they want to pick up an item in store. So far, Walmart has announced the following deals:

Samsung 55" 1080p Class LED Smart 3D HDTV - $1498 ($1,000 savings)

Samsung 40" 1080p Class LED HDTV - $598 (nearly $400 savings)

Xbox 360 Skylanders Family Fun Bundle - $159 (nearly $100 savings)

Double Power T-711 with WiFi 7" Tablet, Featuring Android 4.0 - $59 (nearly $40 savings)

Little Tikes Kitchen - $50 (nearly $30 savings)

Walmart has also added more shipping options for customers, including free shipping on eligible orders over $45.

Amazon is following suit by promoting Cyber Monday Deals Week. Although they haven't announced any specific Cyber Monday sales just yet, Amazon is offering Black Friday prices on select items right now. This includes 20-50 percent discounts on computers and computer accessories, 40-60 percent off luxury watches, 40 percent off HDTVs, 20-50 percent off women's shoes and 70 percent off jewelry and clothing for men and women.

Target has not published any Cyber Monday sales yet, but their website for Cyber Monday sales is up and running. They also released a circular ad announcing some of the Black Friday deals, which could be an indication of what customers can find on their special Cyber Monday site. This includes $50 off a Nook Simple Touch e-Reader and $100 off an Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle.

Online retail discount specialist Overstock.com also is keeping mum on its Cyber Monday sales, but like Target has its special website online and ready to go (including a countdown clock.) They've also published a guide called 'Getting What You Want on Cyber Monday' that offers tips for bargain hunters looking to navigate the web in search of the best deals.

With Cyber Monday sales such a big phenomenon, it's only natural that a slew of Internet scams pop up this time of year looking to fool consumers. Don't be taken in by sites like cybermonday.com, which offer nothing in terms of Cyber Monday sales and simply aggregate coupon deals from sites around the web. The best way to get great deals during the Cyber Monday sales is simply to check out your favorite retailer's website, like bestbuy.com. While they may not be doing things as high-profile as Walmart, companies like Best Buy always offer deals on Cyber Monday. It's virtually unheard of for a company with an online site to NOT offer deals on Cyber Monday, so steer clear of sites that claim to have any insider deals.

Of course, the best part of Cyber Monday sales isn't saving buttloads of money. It's avoiding scenes like this one: