With one hundred and twenty six million households shopping online this Christmas, PackageFromSanta.com wants to arm parents with cyber-shopping tips to help consumers discern scammers from trusted retailers.
Before making any online purchases on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any time of year, employ these safety tactics to steer clear of crooked retailers:
Top 6 Online Safe Shopping Tips:
1) Check the Better Business Bureau rating.
Before making an online purchase, log onto the BBB website and type in the URL of the company. This rating is based on thirteen very important factors to consider when buying from an online retailer.
2) Shop from the real McCoy.
Go to the source site and make sure the website address (URL) is exactly accurate. Scammers will add one letter to the URL or create a similar name so you don’t notice the difference. Note that unsecured websites will be missing the lock symbol to the left of the website address and the URL will not include an “s” after “http” in the web address.
3) Use a credit (not debit) card.
Use a credit card, not a debit card, for online purchases. In the event of a scam, with a credit card, the card issuer must fight to get its money back. With a debit card, you must fight to get your money back.
4) Verify that the company is still in business.
It’s hard for some holiday-oriented businesses to stay afloat year ’round, so call the customer service line and send an email to see if you get a response.
5) Visit the company’s Facebook page.
Spend a few minutes perusing the Facebook page. Read the reviews. Look at how recent the page posts are and send a message to them to see if they respond. A conscientious hands-on company will be very active on their Facebook page.
6) Shop early.
When you are rushing around, desperate to get that perfect gift ASAP, the pressure can prevent you from noticing tell-tale signs of shopping shenanigans. Start shopping before the rush. Take your time. Do the research.
Bottom line? Do your vetting homework before clicking “Buy Now” to make sure you purchase from proven businesses that are on Santa’s Nice List.