Staying safe while you shop online


Online shopping is a convenient way for people to purchase products. Eight out of every 10 shoppers shop online once a week, according to a Kantar Media company. Your Better Business Bureau warns people about shopping while surfing the web.

So far this year, your BBB has recorded more than 584,000 inquiries and almost 9,300 complaints about the online shopping industry across North America. Locally, your BBB received more than 3,200 inquiries.

Your BBB offers advice for online shopping:

• Get familiar with the website. Check the URL to make sure it starts with https://. Also look for a small padlock icon usually located at the corner of the URL bar. These symbols tell shoppers a website is secure.

• Protect your personal information, such as credit card, banking or Social Security numbers. Only provide financial information through secure websites. Check the privacy policy to see how the business will use the information requested.

• Use a credit card. A purchase with a credit card is protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act, a debit card is not. Customers can put a hold payment while a problem is resolved. This act also protects customers in the event credit card information is stolen and used without permission.

• Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid websites luring you to look at sensational videos or offers to give away dream vacations.

• Look for the BBB seal and other widely recognized trustmarks on retailer websites and click on the seals to confirm that they are valid.

• Protect your computer. Install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Check for and install the latest updates and run virus scans regularly.

• Be sure to log out of websites. Many scams take advantage of a computer user’s habit of staying logged into sites. This makes it easier for scammers to purchase items in your name.

• Read the fine print. When buying a product, read the whole description. It’s important to understand the product details so there are no surprises when it’s delivered.

• Keep documentation of your order.

• Check the return policy. Read the return policy to see if the business allows a full refund if the customer is not happy with the product. Review the policy to see who pays the cost of shipping and handling for the return.

• Don’t believe everything you see. A scammer can steal logos, colors and headers from established websites to fool you.

For more advice on online shopping safety and fighting fraud, visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Opposed Kil-Kare request up for vote tonight
Opposed Kil-Kare request up for vote tonight

Xenia Twp. trustees are expected to vote later today on a request for new zoning on land near Kil-Kare Speedway and Drag Strip in Greene County. Trustees heard public comments on the idea two weeks ago before closing a public hearing. The racetrack complex seeks a zoning change for nearly 23 acres of land to build a storage facility. But it’s...
New store opens at The Greene in Beavercreek
New store opens at The Greene in Beavercreek

A new puzzle shop has opened at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek. Puzzle Plus, a family-owned puzzle store, sells jigsaws, brain teasers, puzzle books and games. The store carries games and puzzles for all ages and skill levels. The puzzle store opened in 1995 in Beavercreek, but just moved to a new location at The Greene at 4465 Glengarry Drive...
Sweepstakes scam drains older couple’s life savings
Sweepstakes scam drains older couple’s life savings

An older couple from West Liberty is out tens of thousands of dollars after falling prey to a telephone sweepstakes scam.  The Logan County husband and wife, who wish to remain anonymous, paid a total of $48,000 to a company that goes by the name Consumer Protection Bureau, which offered in return a cash prize of $600,000, according to a release...
Target discontinues popular brands, but sees increase in sales
Target discontinues popular brands, but sees increase in sales

Target Corp. has announced several changes including store redesigns and discontinuing some of its popular clothing brands, and the changes seem to be working in the retailer’s favor. The chain store increased its comparable sales and traffic growth, according to its second quarter earnings report. Second quarter comparable sales increased about...
3 reasons Facebook chose to build its $750M data center in Ohio
3 reasons Facebook chose to build its $750M data center in Ohio

Facebook plans to develop a $750 million data center in New Albany near Columbus, the social media giant announced on Tuesday. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the social media company announced Facebook will build its 10th data center in New Albany, which is just northeast of Columbus. Kasich said the announcement is “further proof that Ohio is earning...
More Stories