There are 23 days left until Christmas and while Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, that doesn’t mean online shopping is over.
Both the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission are telling consumers to be wary with online shopping this holiday season.
“Ads for great online deals are everywhere, tempting consumers with great prices and free shipping offers,” the Better Business Bureau said. “Sometimes consumers find what they ordered is not what they get. Many ads pop up with enticing gadgets, cute merchandise or items with a subliminal ‘I gotta have it’ messages, making it irresistible to click and check it out.”
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The Better Business Bureau said that some deals really are too good to be true and to think before you click.
“Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that don’t measure up to the promotional hype,” the Better Business Bureau said.
The Federal Trade Commission said to be sure to have updated antivirus software before browsing for the perfect gift.
Tips on avoiding scams
Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission said to follow these tips:
- To get the best deal, compare products. Do research online, check product comparison sites, and read online reviews.
- Check out the seller and confirm that the seller is legit.
- Look for coupon codes. Search the store’s name with terms like “coupons,” “discounts” or “free shipping.”
- Pay by credit card. Paying by credit card gives you added protection. Never mail cash or wire money to online sellers. If the seller asks you to pay this way, it could be a scam.
- Use secure checkout. Before you enter your credit card information online, check that the website address starts with “https.” The “s” stands for secure. If you don’t see the “s,” don’t enter your information.
- Keep records of online transactions until you get the goods, confirm you got what you ordered, and that you’re satisfied you won’t have to return the item.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: How to avoid online scams this holiday shopping season