Dec 6, 2010 7:42 PM by John Romero
Some new numbers show an increase of online shopping as much as 36% from last year during the Christmas season. But not all of us may have such a happy holiday. "A lot of people bought online, more than predicted." explains Katie Carrol with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, "So along with that goes more rip-offs."
Scams to get your money are everywhere. "We can't just impulse buy anymore. We can't just buy on the internet like we used to." says Carrol. But with a little preparation and know-how you can safely and easily navigate the jungle of online shopping. When making a transaction look for an "S" following the http on the website url so you know it's secure. When all else fails, click on the lock icon on the right side of your browser to check the security of the site. Most importantly, make sure you're buying from a reputable company. Some scams pop up and leave you high and dry. "They're up for a couple days, they get as much money as possible and then they close down and there's no way to get your money back." says Carrol.
Experts say it's also a good idea to keep a low limit credit card to use exclusively for online purchases. That way if you are scammed, the damage will be minimal and your credit card company may be able to get the money back. "It's terrible to be out a hundred dollars and to not get the merchandise you pay for." says Carrol, "But to get your identity stolen is really very serious."
CLICK HERE for more on how to protect yourself against online scams