Thomas Johnson, VP of Public Relations – Board Relations – Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois
Beware of false advertising and phony websites. If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers love to create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.
Check BBB.org for Business Profiles of the stores and read what other customers have experienced.
Watch out for phishing scams. Busy schedules and increased purchases make it easier to miss – and fall victim to – a phishing scam. Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. These messages may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information.
Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only. Secure web addresses begin with HTTPS:// and not just HTTP://. Never put personal or credit card information in forms on non-secure web pages.
Keep your antivirus software up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams, and help keep your personal information safe.
Use your credit card. It’s always best to make online purchases with your credit card.
Understand return policies. Online store policies may change for Cyber Monday offers.