(WFRV) — The Better Business Bureau is speaking out ahead of the holiday shopping season, asking consumers to use caution when making purchases online.
Lisa Schiller, Director of Investigations and Media Relations for the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin told Local 5 that consumers should look out for “Red Flags” while shopping online.
“Scammers love to create look-alike websites that at first glance appear to belong to a trusted retailer,” she said. “Make sure the websites uses the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.”
Schiller also said to be wary of websites you’ve never heard of before, as scammers sometimes set-up brand new websites.
Those websites can be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, so it can pay to do some reading before making a purchase.
Another red flag to look for is the contact information available on the website.
“Generally there won’t be any contact information,” Schiller said, “and my advice would be, if there is contact information, don’t just hold it at face value. Actually check it out. Do some reverse address checks, check out the phone number.”
Schiller also advised against buying from websites advertised on Facebook or other social media websites.
“a lot of times those pop-ups [ads] will actually show items that you yourself like, so your eye goes to it,” she explained. “You have to really do your research with those. Very, very few are legitimate. A lot of those pop-up ads will lead you to these fake online websites.”
Click here for more tips on how to shop online safely this holiday season.