CHICAGO, IL – December 20, 2012 –During the
busy holiday season it is tempting to skim through your credit card statement
instead of checking it thoroughly. The Better Business Bureau
serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) reminds consumers that it is
extremely important to be vigilant during this time of increased
spending and to check your statements carefully and look for fraudulent
Under Federal law, shoppers can
dispute the charges on their credit cards if they do not receive the items. Shoppers
also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit cards,
and many card issuers have "zero liability" policies under which the
card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it.
“Scammers and hackers do not take a break during the holiday season,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better
Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is important to keep track of
accounts especially if there are more transactions than normal. That is when
fraudulent ones may slip through.”
The BBB recommends these tips to prevent
unauthorized credit card charges:
documentation of your order
- After completing the online order process, there may be a final
confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by e-mail. Save a
copy of the webpage and any e-mails for future reference as well as any
receipts obtained from brick and mortar stores.
your personal information be protected? – When
information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn’t one posted, consider that a
warning that your personal information may be sold to others.
Will your online purchase be
secure? - Look in the address box for the “s” in
https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before
paying. Don’t be fooled by spoofed sites
that feature convincing security measures.
If you have doubts about a site, right-click anywhere on the page and
select “Properties.” This will let you
see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site
is “not encrypted.”
Beware of phishing
businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to
lure the “buyer” into revealing financial information. If a consumer receives
such an e-mail, BBB recommends picking up the phone after verifying the genuine
number and calling the contact number on the website where the purchase was
made to confirm that there really is a problem with the transaction.
out for skimming - A dishonest employee at the point of purchase
could scan the card on an authorized machine before returning the card. The
card number could then be used by the employee and/or sold to someone else.
For more information on protecting your identity or
credit card usage, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose
of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help
resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and
arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and
charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and
nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity
before making a purchase or donation.