Your BBB® is getting many complaints regarding online shopping, from puppy scams to fake coupons. As we walk each scam victim through their options, we would like to take a few minutes and remind everyone that there are a few things you can do in order to protect your money when shopping online.
1. Use credit cards
By using a general credit card, you increase your chances of getting your money back. Try to avoid debit and prepaid cards this holiday season and remember to check your credit card balance every couple of days. If there are any unwanted purchases, you’ll catch them in time. Before you make a payment, check to see if the website’s address starts with “https” instead of “http”- if it does, the connection is secure.
2. Do your research
If this is your first time shopping from a certain e-store, make sure to do your research first. Read reviews from other customers and don’t forget to look for the website’s contact information. If there is a phone number, give them a call to make sure there is a real person at the end of the line and not a robot. Another thing you can do is look them up on bbb.org to read complaints and find the contact information.
3. Read the fine print
If the deal states a discount or a free delivery offer, please read the fine print. Sometimes the discount is granted based on a second purchase, while the free delivery could only be available for a certain area of before a certain date.
4. Check for scams
If your research has provided limited results, you may want to search for the business or website on BBB ScamTracker. You can use it to see if the store or website you are planning on shopping from has been reported as potentially fraudulent by another consumer.
These are 4 easy steps you need to take before making an online purchase. Once you receive your item, remember to organize all your receipts in a binder in case something needs to be returned.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville!