What Do You and Scammers Have in Common? Your Favorite Shopping Holiday

Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest days of the year for online sales. Adobe reported that in 2017, Cyber Monday hit a new record as the largest online sales day in history at $6.59 billion.

Better Business Bureau wants to remind consumers to be mindful of their online transactions during the holiday season. Consider the following before shopping online:

Test your “Digital IQ.” Get ready for Cyber Monday by taking our fun, 12-question quiz that challenges you to check what you already know about Savvy Shopping. Learn about managing your digital privacy and the value you get from sharing data online.

Be a savvy shopper. When shopping online, be sure to take your time, and read the fine print before submitting your order. Look for the return policy during the holidays, as some stores have different return policies depending on the item you purchase and when trying to return an item you purchased online. Although many online orders can be returned for a full refund, others have restocking fees.

Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. Check out bbb.org to read more about stores or websites unfamiliar to you.

Trust but verify. When shopping online, use retail websites that you trust. Use common sense and avoid deals that seem “too good to be true.” If you’re shopping with an unfamiliar retailer, visit bbb.org to read customer reviews and learn more about previous customers’ experiences.

Use anti-virus software. To ensure your computer and personal information are safe, use anti-virus software on your computer or mobile device and keep it up-to-date.

Shop with a credit card. A credit card provides additional protections over a debit card in case of fraudulent transactions. If your card number is compromised, it’s easier to dispute any charges that you didn’t approve. Prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card, but you’ll never lose more than the value of the card itself.

Make sure websites are secure. Only share personal information and your credit card number with websites that are https (the extra “s” stands for secure) and that have a security lock icon in the task bar.

Be careful of phishing scams. A popular one at this time of year is an email claiming to be from a package- delivery company with links to tracking information (clicking on unfamiliar links can place you at risk for malware and/or identity theft).

Source: BBB.org and Adobe

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.