Better Business Bureau: Beware of scammers as you shop online

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Better Business Bureau experts are warning people to be aware of scammers when shopping for the holidays and Cyber ​​Monday.

As one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Cyber ​​Monday is known for good deals, but experts warn that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Carl Bates, president of BBB Central and South Alabama, said there are ways to protect yourself from fraud when shopping online. Bates recommends that people use a credit card to buy items online to make it easier to dispute fraudulent charges.

Tips to protect yourself from scammers:

  • Always make sure you are buying from the right website.

Bates One of the most sure fire ways to tell if something is a scam is typos. He says, “We see a lot of non-legitimate websites where they take the word target and add an s to it or misspell it. Those are scammers trying to set up a fake website to get you to order.

  • Beware of phone calls and text messages.

According to Bates, scammers often use text messages and phone calls to promote their fake deals. He explains that any texts or calls regarding deals are scams. “Be careful of any text messages or phone calls you get that make a big deal out of it, or if it’s a shipping issue, most major online retailers won’t send you a message about shipping,” says Bates.

Bates explained that scams often contain links that can damage your technology. He advises, “If you get an article or shipping issue that offers you a great deal, it’s not something you want to click on.” Bates says if you click the link, it may add software to your phone or computer to steal your identity.

  • Read the fine print and return policy.

Although there are many scams online, Bates says that sometimes a simple reading of a product description can lead to ordering a product that doesn’t seem right.

“Last year we had people who ordered Christmas trees and thought they were getting a 7- to 8-foot tree. They got a 6- to 8-inch tree that was an 8-foot seedling, and there were no returns on those,” Bates said. They got it, but that was fine.”

Here’s more advice from law enforcement:

Law enforcement officials also advise consumers to update their devices and add anti-virus software to prevent scams. Experts note the importance of a secure Wi-Fi network and buying products from official company websites.

If you have any questions or complaints about the business, Bates says you can always call their office at 205-558-2222.

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