RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -
The week after Black Friday begins with Cyber Monday. While sales normally pop up the day of, or during the weekend leading up to the shopping event, online sales have been going on some sites as early as Halloween.
According to the Better Business Bureau, online shopping scams are some of the most common complaints over the holidays, and many find themselves on the receiving end of counterfeits, low-quality goods , or nothing at all. Even worse, some shoppers fall victim to identity theft in the process.
For those looking to take advantage of savings online, BBB is offering these tips to keep safe, while getting the best return for your money:
Beware of false advertising and phony websites. If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for false advertising and keep a close eye on the web address in your browser. Scammers love to create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers. Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only. Be wary of businesses you aren’t familiar with. Check their BBB Business Profile on BBB.org Look at the rating and read customer reviews. In addition, make sure every website begins with HTTPS:// and never put personal or credit card information on non-secure sites. Keep your antivirus software up to date. Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer or mobile device, and that it is up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams, and help keep your personal information safe. Price check before you buy. Dozens of online retailers will claim they have the best price on an item, but their offers can be misleading. Do your homework by comparing prices. Remember that the best deal may not be the real deal. Take advantage of rewards and loyalty programs. Check your credit card rewards program for special point offers that could add up on Cyber Monday and throughout the holidays. Make purchases using loyalty programs as many retailers offer them. Use your credit card. It’s always best to make online purchases with your credit card. If any shady charges turn up later, you will be able to contest them through your credit card company. Debit cards don’t offer this same protection. Never make purchases with online sellers by giving them prepaid debit cards or wiring them money. Understand return policies. Online store policies may change for Cyber Monday offers. Read the fine print before you buy. Understand the return or exchange policy for the specific item you would like to purchase. Be aware that stores may not allow returns for “final sale” or “closeout” items. Make sure to get gift receipts, so the recipient can return or exchange the item if necessary. Watch out for phishing scams. Busy schedules and increased purchases make it easier to miss and fall victim to phishing scams. Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. These messages may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with delivery—all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information. Never click on links directly, especially from people you don’t know.
If you feel like you’ve spotted a scam, or fallen victim to one, you can report it to the Better Business Bureau
Scam Tracker. It could help others avoid falling victim. Copyright 2022 KOLO. All rights reserved.