How to protect yourself while shopping online

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, file photo, a consumer looks at Cyber Monday sales on her computer at her home in Palo Alto, Calif. Shoppers spent more than $3 billion online on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, on “Cyber Monday,” making it the biggest online shopping day ever.
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, file photo, a consumer looks at Cyber Monday sales on her computer at her home in Palo Alto, Calif. Shoppers spent more than $3 billion online on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, on “Cyber Monday,” making it the biggest online shopping day ever. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Scammers are asking you to purchase fake gift cards online this holiday season in a new attempt to get your money.

Vice President of Better Business Bureau Services Melissa Ames gave WKBN a few tips for shopping online this holiday season:

  • If the price seems to good to be true, there’s probably something wrong. Be wary if the item is selling for significantly lower than what you’ve seen elsewhere.
  • Beware of high pressure sales. Scammers want to get your money before you have time to think or get a second opinion on the deal.
  • Watch out for sellers who won’t take credit cards. Beware of sellers that requires you to wire money, use a prepaid debit card, or pay by gift card.
  • Check for legitimate contact information. Make sure the seller has a real phone number and address on the website, so you can contact them in case of problems. When in doubt, type the phone number into a search engine and see if it matches the seller, or if others have expressed concerns or filed complaints.
  • Make sure websites are secure and authenticated. Before you purchase an item online, look for “https” before the web address and a small lock symbol that ensure your credit card and/or banking information is secure.

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