MILWAUKEE — Many of us shop online for everything from merchandise, travel and even finding a pet. In most cases, we find what we are looking for on a legitimate website. But, how do you know if the seller or the website is legitimate, and how do you avoid getting taken?
Here are a few things to pay attention to before you provide personal information or payment.
There are a number of fake websites that look like that of a legitimate seller. When shopping, pay attention to spelling or grammatical errors, graphics that appear distorted or poorly laid out, lack of contact information such as no street address for the seller, and no return policies or term and conditions.
Check the address bar to be sure that the address for the site begins with “https”. If an “s” does not appear after “http”, watch out. And, look for red flags of a potential scam such as a price being too good to be true, or the seller only allowing payments via PayPal, wire transfer, or prepaid gift cards.
It is also a good idea to search for complaints on the company or product with consumer sites like the better business bureau or federal trade commission.
If you were scammed or you clicked on a site that appears to be fake, report it to the Federal Trade Commission and the search engine who is sponsoring the site. Your information could help others from being scammed.