Cyber Monday: BBB Offers Tips to Battle Scammers
Scammers are always on the lookout for buyers’ missteps, particularly on days like Cyber Monday. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers several reminders to help you avoid falling victim to these scams:
Beware of False Advertising and Phony Websites
Deals that seem “too good to be true” usually are. Some fake websites pose as real businesses, so before making a purchase, verify that the business’s name is spelled correctly and has legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.
Shop with Trustworthy Sellers on Secure Sites Only
Review websites at BBB.org to help determine their trustworthiness and ensure that the web address starts with “HTTPS” rather than just “HTTP.” The “S” stands for “Secure,” and websites without the S should not be trusted with financial information.
Keep Your Antivirus Software Up to Date
Proper antivirus software helps keep non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams at bay.
Price Check Before You Buy
Just because a website claims to offer a steep discount or the best price doesn’t mean it’s true. Cross-check pricing on other websites before making a purchase.
Take Advantage of Rewards and Loyalty Programs
See if your credit card offers any special points deals and make purchases using store loyalty programs for the best chance at true deals.
Use Your Credit Card
Credit card companies offer protections for fraudulent charges, but debit cards do not. Never purchase anything with an online seller using a prepaid debit card or by wiring money. Credit cards are the way to go.
Understand Return Policies
If you’re unsure about a purchase, read the fine print before buying. Some Cyber Monday offers are on “final sale” or “closeout” items, meaning they are not eligible for return or exchange. Be aware of these policies so that you or the recipient of your gift can make necessary returns/exchanges.
Watch Out for Phishing Scams
Be cautious of unsolicited emails, calls, texts, or letters, and ignore or discard them if they are from an unfamiliar party. Even clicking one link could give up personal information to a phishing scam.
Look for the BBB Seal: The Sign of a Better Business
Shop with confidence and peace of mind by looking for websites with the BBB seal.
If you believe you’ve found an online scam, report it to the BBB ScamTracker, which will ask if you’ve already been scammed or think you are being targeted. The popular scams on their website include pet scams, pyramid schemes, consumer fraud lawyers, cash app, and tax fraud.
Missouri Ranks in Top 10 for “Porch Pirates”
Even if everything goes smoothly online, people are not safe from all problems. New data from the FBI shows that Missouri ranks in the top 10 for “Porch Pirates.” Punishments for these thieves will be tougher this year, as Governor Mike Parson signed legislation making the crime a Class E felony, meaning they could face up to five years in prison if found guilty of stealing packages.
Ways to Protect Yourself
Lending Tree suggests the following ways to protect yourself from porch pirates:
- Have purchases delivered to a brick-and-mortar store, where you must show ID or a receipt at pick-up.
- Consider having items shipped to your workplace, if allowed.
- Research retailers’ lost or stolen items policies before buying.
- Check your credit card’s policy on lost, stolen, or non-delivered items.
If you have been a victim of porch piracy, Lending Tree offers a step-by-step guide on how to seek recourse.
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Orginal article: Link To Article – provided by Kansas City Realtors