Know Who You Are Doing Business With Online

One of the best ways you can protect yourself from fraud and other online criminal activity is to know who you are doing business with. While many Web sites and emails are designed to look professional and secure, there are often telltale signs that can help you identify ones you want to avoid.

What to Avoid

  • Don’t respond to scare tactics that pressure you to buy a product or service.
  • Avoid offers that provide items for “free”, provided you pay an upfront fee or send money to secure the transaction.
  • Legitimate companies must have a physical address. If a company won’t provide you with a physical address and phone number, be suspicious.

What to Do

  1. If you have any doubt about a company, check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company is legitimate.
  2. Check to ensure Web sites have a posted privacy policy.
  3. Check refund and return policies before you buy.
  4. Protect your personal information. See our advice on Safely Surfing the Internet and Recognizing Suspicious Emails so that you can spot a suspicious website if you encounter one.

The Better Business Bureau encourages consumers to investigate new businesses before conducting business with them online. Visit their site for more information:

Better Business Bureau: Shopping Safely Online 

Additional Resources on Keeping Your Information Safe: 

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