Special to Iredell Free News
Prime Day is always a hit, and Amazon isn’t the only retailer rolling out discounts, with many other retailers running their sales on July 11-12.
More deals are great for consumers, and more people out shopping is great for businesses large and small. Just be careful, and don’t get so caught up in the excitement that you fall for phishing scams, misleading advertisements, and lookalike websites. Ensure you know what to look for when shopping for the big sales in July.
BBB tips for online shopping the July retail sales:
● Email phishing attempts that appear to come from a popular retailer. Phishing increases during busy shopping days. When making many purchases, please track your purchase, where it’s from, and any tracking numbers.
● Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, or phone calls. These messages may claim you have a gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information.
● Watch out for social media ads. You may come across lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. But looking more closely at the URL, you’ll notice that the domain name is slightly different. Ensure websites use the correct business name spelling and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers. Also, trust your gut when evaluating deals.
● Beware of look alike websites: Check the URL, watch for bad grammar, research the age of the domain, search for contact information, and read online reviews.
● Professional photos do not mean it’s a real offer. Photos can be stolen from other websites, so don’t believe what you see.
● Make sure the website is secure. Look for the “HTTPS” in the URL (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and a small lock icon on the address bar. Never enter payment or personal information into a website with only “HTTP.” It is NOT secure.
● Be careful when purchasing sought-after products. If something is sold out everywhere, don’t be tempted by a seemingly great deal. Scammers often trick shoppers by offering the most popular products at low prices.
● Pay with a credit card. It’s always best to make online purchases with your credit card. If any shady charges appear later, you can contest them through your credit card company. Be very wary of any retailer that asks you to pay by digital wallet apps, prepaid money cards, or other non-traditional payment methods.