Maybe you're looking forward to a few days off over Thanksgiving week, yeah? Well criminals NEVER take a day off and are out to separate you from your hard earned money!  Danielle Kane, Tri-Cities Marketplace Manager for the Better Business Bureau, wants you to know about shopping safe on Cyber Monday, and even tells of LOCAL VICTIMS in her latest press release below. Thank you for keeping us aware of the bad guys!

AVOID SCAMS DURING CYBER MONDAY 

BBB Warns of Online Shopping Scams  

Richland, Washington, Nov. 19, 2018 Both shoppers and sellers are gearing up for a busy shopping weekend with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday just around the corner. But buyer beware! Not all sellers are who they claim to be. Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific reports that in 2017, North America consumer lost more than $2.5 million to online purchase scams. That’s according to the more than 4,600 reports filed to BBB Scam Tracker. Locally, Washington victims reported they lost more than $61,000 

 For Tri Cities: Since January 2017, consumers in Tri Cities reported losing an estimated $603 to online shopping scams. One consumer reported losing $76 after attempting to order the popular Instapot only to find out the website she ordered it from was fake. This is a common issue during the holiday season with fake advertisements and websites popping up on social media. Another consumer reported losing nearly $180 to a fraudulent skincare company offering a “free trial” of their products. After placing an order, her card was charged for a much higher amount without her permission.  

 BBB wants to remind consumers to be mindful of their online transactions during the holiday season. 

Be a savvy shopper. When shopping online, be sure to take your time, and read the fine print before submitting your order. Look for the return policy during the holidays, as some stores have different return policies depending on the item you purchase and when trying to return an item you purchased online. Although many online orders can be returned for a full refund, others have restocking fees. 

Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online, but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. Check out bbb.org to read more about stores or websites unfamiliar to you. 

Use anti-virus software. To ensure your computer and personal information are safe, use anti-virus software on your computer or mobile device and keep it up-to-date. 

Shop with a credit card. A credit card provides additional protections over a debit card in case of fraudulent transactions. If your card number is compromised, it’s easier to dispute any charges that you didn’t approve. Prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card, but you’ll never lose more than the value of the card itself. 

Make sure websites are secure. Only share personal information and your credit card number with websites that are https (the extra “s” stands for secure) and that have a security lock icon in the task bar. 

Be careful of phishing scams. A popular one at this time of year is an email claiming to be from a package- delivery company with links to tracking information. Keep in mind that clicking on unfamiliar links can place you at risk for malware and/or identity theft. 

 

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ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including BBB Northwest & Pacific, which serves more than 15 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii, and Western Wyoming.