Making Online Shopping a Safe and Fun Experience
Shopping online can be dangerous in many ways especially when the shopper does not take a few precautions to protect themselves as well as their personal information. It is quite easy while shopping for identity theft to happen. But on the other hands shopping online can also be very quick, easy and safe especially when you follow just a few guidelines.
Stay With Better Known Sites
Anyone can set up a website and add some items for selling. You place your order, pay by credit card and then never get your ordered item. Checking later you find out that the website is gone. It was all a scam just to get your information. This won’t happen if you stay with the larger sites that are very well-known while shopping. Also well-known and reputable websites will not ask you for financial information while you are browsing so be on guard for this happening while you are shopping.
Pay By Credit Card
You may be apprehensive about using your credit card information but when you pay using a charge or credit card online, the transaction has the protection of what is known as the “Fair Credit Billing Act”. This is a law allowing you under several situations to dispute charges and temporarily stop payment while the incident is being investigated. And if someone is using your credit card without permission you are only responsible for the first $50 that is charged. There are also many companies that will not make you responsible for any charges that were made unauthorized to your credit card. There are some major credit cards that offer you additional warranty and protections for items that were purchased while shopping. So it is always best to use a credit card. Many people often have only one credit card that they use for their shopping.
Keep Good Records
Always print out as well as save any records of your online purchases, including the description of the product, the cost, and the online receipt as well as any emails you received from the seller. And always when you receive your monthly credit card statement, check it closely to see that they are all charges that you indeed made. If it is around the holidays and you are doing your holiday shopping online it is a good idea to keep all your printed out information together in one place so you have a record of every transaction no matter how many you made.
Reporting Any Online Scams
If you do have difficulties with any online shopping transaction you need to first try to work with the seller to work out the problem. If that doesn’t work then you may take further action by filing a complaint with the Attorney General in your state, the Federal Trade Commission, your county or state consumer protection agency as well as the Better Business Bureau. This might not get you anywhere but at least it could stop other people from the same problem happening to them. The majority of the time if the problem is with a major website or company, they will be more than happy to work with you.