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Switching to e-receipts makes sense, with care

Getting a paper receipt from a business may soon become history. Many businesses are offering the option to receive e-receipts because it saves money and is good for the environment. But, paperless receipts could pose a problem for some trying to keep their identity safe. Your Better Business Bureau helps you decide: paper or e-mail?

The trend for paperless receipts has taken off in recent years. About one-third of all retailers use e-receipts, according to a Epsilon survey of almost 4,000 retailers. Businesses and consumers can benefit from e-receipts because returns can be traced digitally. Going paperless can also cut back on fraudulent returns, which cost businesses $14 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

However, e-receipts do have some drawbacks for consumers. Businesses may send junk mail filled with surveys, coupons and other promotional offers. Also, businesses could use your information to build profiles on demographics and buying habits. Scammers can pose as retailers sending you realistic-looking e-mails directing you to click on links that may take you to fraudulent sites, which ask for your personal information or download malware on your computer.

For anyone looking to save paper and go green, your BBB offers these e-receipt tips:

• Ask the business how your information will be used.

• Confirm delivery of e-receipt. If you have a mobile device, then check your e-mail before you leave the store to see if you’ve received it. If you don’t have access, ask for a hard copy of the receipt until you can check if the e-receipt was delivered.

• Update anti-virus software. It’s always a great idea to update your computer system’s security program regularly.

• Consider additional software, like software allowing you to store all your receipts in one place.

Remember, you can always check out businesses with your BBB. Your BBB can provide lists of BBB Accredited companies in specific industries and business reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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