Safe Shopping Tips from the Better Business Bureau

Source: Better Business Bureau

The holidays are here and gift shopping is in full swing! Whether you are shopping in a store or from the comfort of your own home, ensuring the safety of your personal and financial information is important.

As you fill your carts, here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau you can follow to keep your financial information secure:

  • Beware of false advertising and phony websites. If you find an ad for an item that seems too good to be true, there is a chance that it’s fake. Check to make sure that the advertisements are from trusted retailers, that the websites use proper spelling, and have legitimate contact information.
  • Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only. Looking to make a purchase, but the website seems off? Checking their business profile, reviews, and ensuring they use a secure web address are a few ways you can see if the site is trustworthy.
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date. Check your computer and mobile devices to ensure your antivirus software is up to date.
  • Price check before you buy. The best deal may not be a real one. By taking the time to research and compare prices, you can make sure the ad is not misleading and you snag the best deal.
  • Take advantage of rewards and loyalty programs. Check to see if your credit card has a rewards program and if so use those rewards towards your holiday purchases.
  • Use your credit card. By shopping with your credit card, you can report shady charges you find on your account.
  • Understand return policies. For some stores, their policies change for the holiday season, so it is important to read them before making your purchases. If you are giving an item as a gift, it is also a good idea to ask for a gift receipt in case the recipient needs to return the item.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. If you received a random letter or email stating you won a free item or there is a delivery issue with a purchase, check that it is from a trusted retailer before clicking the link. Keep an eye out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, and letters as they may be phishing scams.

Check out more holiday shopping tips from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

If you think you have come across a scam, report it to the BBB ScamTracker.