BBB offers online safety tips for 'Cyber Monday' shopping

Black Friday has come and gone, leaving Cyber Monday -- the annual day for online shopping mega-deals -- up to bat.

On Monday, Americans will visit online retailers to do Christmas shopping and search for the best deals on everything from electronics to clothes. The Better Business Bureau wants those millions of shoppers to do so safely.

"The convenience and ease of shopping online has replaced the hassle of going to the store for many people -- but online shopping has its own set of risks," Fred T. Elsberry Jr., president of the BBB's metro Atlanta branch, said in a news release.

"Taking steps to avoid the fraud online will result in a much happier holiday for everyone -- except, of course, for scammers and hackers."

The Better Business Bureau offered 10 online shopping tips to help protect consumers this holiday season. For even more information, visit bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-holiday/.

-- Protect your computer: Make sure you have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

-- Shop on trustworthy websites: Start with the BBB to check on the seller's reputation and record for customer satisfaction.

-- Protect your personal information: Take time to read websites' privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used.

-- Beware of deals that sound too good to be true: Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails can often offer extremely low prices on hard-to-get items; don't be afraid to pass up a "deal" that may cost you dearly in the end.

-- Beware of phishing: Legitimate businesses do not send emails claiming problems with an order or account to lure the "buyer" into revealing financial information. If you have made a purchase, call the company to make sure there is actually a problem.

-- Confirm your purchase is secure: Shoppers should always look in the address box for the "s" in "https://" and in the lower-right corner for the "lock" symbol before paying.

-- Pay with a credit card: Under federal law, shoppers using a credit card can dispute the charges if he or she doesn't receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card.

-- Keep documentation of your order: Save or print a copy of the purchase confirmation website or email.

-- Check your credit card statements often: Don't wait for paper statements. Check online regularly.

-- Know your rights; Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days.


kevin 2 years, 9 months ago

Best tip of all: stop this madness of buying material things. Go out and meet with some friends and enjoy yourself.


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