PEORIA – Buying Christmas gifts online may be the most convenient way to shop. You don’t have the hassle of parking, waiting in lines, or weathering the cold. However, the Better Business Bureau is sharing a few tips to keep your online shopping safe from a scam.
Before you start clicking, consider where your gift is coming from. Better Business Bureau Vice-President Jessica Tharp said, “First, check out how secure the website is. You're giving out your information, you're giving out a lot of personal information, your payment information."
Tharp said when you use a third-party site like eBay or Craigslist; you should know your rights. “"It's important to find out before you purchase that from a third party if the site you're using as the resource offers you any kind of protection. For example, do they have terms and conditions, should the purchase or transaction go wrong, will you get your money back? Perhaps through Paypal, that kind of thing."
If you’re going through the increasingly popular garage sale type of sites, Tharp said you’re shopping at your own risk. “If it's through a garage sale type site, you may not have any protection at all. So you need to consider that before you decide where you're going to shop."
Ultimately, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. “Before you decide to buy on that really great deal, you need to make sure that the company is real and that they have the reputation that deserves your business."
The BB also suggests using a credit card when shopping online. Credit card companies offer better protection if a transaction goes wrong and you lose your money.