Follow these tips to stay safe from potential dangers while shopping for Cyber Monday.
Make sure your holiday game plan includes protecting your credit information, using reputable merchants, and checking the terms of sales twice before completing a purchase whether it is in-store or online.
Here are 10 tips for smart online shopping from the Utah Division of Consumer Protection:
- Don’t send cash or wire money for payment. Pay by credit or charge card.
- Compare prices. Scammers will try to entice victims to their websites with ridiculously low prices. Also, remember to account for shipping and handling in the cost of online purchases.
- Research the seller. Confirm the online seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have any problems or questions.
- Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
- Enter financial information only on secure sites. If you initiate a purchase online, look for indicators that the site is secure. Although no indicator is foolproof, look for a lock icon on the browsers status bar or a URL address that includes an “s” after http. Also, do not email financial information, such as your credit card or checking account number.
- Keep a paper trail in a file folder. Print and save records of all your online transactions.
- Review the refund policy and delivery rates. Check who pays for the cost of shipping a returned item and if there is a “restocking” fee for returning an item.
- Consider coupons. Some companies offer discounts via email, and some websites collect and list codes for free shipping and other discounts.
- Read retailer and product reviews. Reviews from other people, experts and columnists can give you an idea of how a product performs.
- Use your Smartphone wisely. Mobile devices offer convenient consumer resources but may also provide fraudsters with your personal and account information.