Online Holiday Scams

The Better Business Bureau has recently sent out alerts warning consumers of the dangers of buying online. Usually a safe and routine process, many fraudulent sites are now popping up around the holiday season because of the increased business in the e-commerce world. These deceptive sites usually initially say that they accept credit cards, however when it comes time to place the order and pay, customers are faced with messages saying that something along the lines of, “…due to high rate of fraudulent activity,’ they would only accept a wire transfer from consumers”. This should be a red flag for any consumer shopping online. No internet retail site should ever ask you to pay for products using wire transfer. Unlike credit cards and PayPal, wire transfers offer no consumer protection from fraudulent retailers. Money is taken directly out of the consumer’s bank account and transferred to the fake retailer and goods are never shipped or delivered.

So when shopping online try and stay true to trusted and recommended e-tail sites; if ordering off a new site, do a simple search to find background information about the site and read customer reviews whenever possible; most larger well know sites have customer security pages which inform online consumers about the security of their sites- often noting that the site, such as, are secured with well know internet infrastructure services such as VeriSign Secure or McAfee Secure; trust your instincts, because if an offers sounds too good to be true, it is probably because it is; and finally, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER agree to pay with an wire transfer.

Stay protected this holiday season- Happy Holidays form!

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