Tis’ the season for online shopping scams. We’ve got 10 tips to avoid being the victim of an online scammer straight from the folks at the FBI.
- Do a little Googling and see what you find out about the company. Make sure other people have done business with it.
- Check the company out on Better Business Bureau’s website (www.bbb.org).
- Check Yelp or other websites that review companies to see what people have to say about their experiences.
- Remember, too-good-to-be-true discounts almost always are.
- Be wary of retailers who use a free e-mail service like Gmail or Outlook instead of a company e-mail address.
- Just because a website looks nice, doesn’t mean the company is legitimate. Scammers can build nice websites, too.
- Anyone who insists you need to pay with a gift card is up to no good.
- Check credit card statements! Set up credit card transaction auto alerts, or check balance after every online purchase.
- Verify requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them using the main contact information on their official website.
- Secure credit card accounts, even rewards accounts, with strong passwords. Change passwords and check accounts routinely.
I Fell For A Scam, Now What?
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a scam, here’s what to do:
- Report the activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov,
- Call your bank and stop the transaction if possible.