CHICAGO,IL – December 2, 2013 – Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, is one of themost popular holiday shopping days of the year. Many consumers choose CyberMonday because sales are located online and allow consumers to skip the crowdson Black Friday. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and NorthernIllinois (BBB) warns buyers to beware of holiday scammers and hackers.
According to a survey by Nielsen,85% of the participating consumers plan to skip the stores on Black Friday and46% will instead shop online on Cyber Monday.
“Peopleget caught up in the craze of holiday shopping,” said Steve J. Bernas,president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and NorthernIllinois. “Whether it is Black Friday or Cyber Monday it is important to takeprecautions to ensure that scammers do not ruin the holidays.”
Onlineshopping tips for Cyber Monday:
· Shop on trustworthy websites – Shoppers shouldstart with the BBB to check on the seller’s Business Review for customer satisfactionat www.bbb.org Always look for the BBB seal and otherwidely-recognized “trustmarks” on retailer websites and click on the seals toconfirm that they are valid.
· Beware of deals that sound too good to betrue –Offers on websites and in unsolicited e-mails can often sound too good to betrue, especially extreme low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers shouldalways go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that mightcost them dearly in the end. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
· Be careful whenpurchasing toys – Nearly100 products were recalled last year. Items can often be found for sale evenafter being recalled, so be sure to check on your item before buying it whenshopping for young children at http://www.cpsc.gov/
· Confirm that your online purchase is secure–Shoppers should always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and inthe lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are anydoubts about a site, the BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page andselect “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (website address) andthe dialog box will reveal whether the site is not encrypted.
· Pay with a credit card – It’s best to use acredit card, because under Federal law, the shopper can dispute the charges ifhe or she doesn’t receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if thereare unauthorized charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have “zeroliability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone stealsthe credit card number and uses it.
· Make sure yourcomputer is updated. Before shopping, make sure your computer has themost recent updates of anti-virus software in case you end up on an unsecuresite.
· Double check shipping rights. Companies must ship products as stated on thewebsite. If shipping information is not listed, they have 30 days to send theproduct which will arrive after Christmas.
· Keep documentation of your order - After completingthe online order process, there may be a final confirmation page or the shoppermight receive confirmation by e-mail. The BBB recommends saving a copy of theWeb page and any e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
Don’t forget those less fortunate thisholiday season. If deciding to donate an item to a charity or cause, make sureitems are in good condition and the recipient organization accepts such itemsto help further its cause. Find all charities that meet BBB standards at www.bbb.org/charity
For more advice on staying safe online thisholiday season, visit www.bbb.org
As a private,non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is topromote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints bymeans of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertisingclaims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs developand issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encouragepeople to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.