The Pitfalls To Online Shopping - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

The Willis Report

The Pitfalls To Online Shopping

Posted: Updated:

I couldn't blame you if you decided to do all of your holiday shopping online this year. After all, fighting the crowds seems a lot worse fate than wrestling the mouse. But the reality is this: There are pitfalls to online shopping as well and the most pernicious are not obvious.  This is the time of year that  thieves are out in force, hoping that you make a mistake so they can sell you counterfeit goods, steal your credit card number or even your identity.

        Here's what you need to know to avoid the downsides of online shopping:

  1. Don't rely on your own powers of observation to determine whether a website is shady or not. There was a time when you could spot fakers because the sites were loaded with bad spelling and grammar. Not anymore.  Consumer Reports' Tod Marks says it is almost impossible to determine whether a site is legit or not by just looking at it. Instead, make sure that the URL contains "https:" that "s" stands for secure. Check our retailer ratings at Better Business Bureau, where you can also find consumer complaints and reviews. It doesn't hurt to stick with retailers you already know, and avoid obscure vendors. And, by the way, pay by credit card rather than debit card. That way, if there is a problem with merchandise, you can get your money back.
  2. Watch out for the shyster moves. The fine print is what can get you online. Watch out for sites that say you can't return defective items. That means the sites are revoking an implied warranty that is acknowledged in many states. If you are buying a high end item make sure that the site is an authorized dealer for the goods by reading the terms and conditions on line.
  3. Check out the online privacy policy. Many retailers give you the option to opt into special offers or promotions. My suggestion  is to limit the information you provide to what is needed to actually make the purchase. I prefer dealing with retailers who allow me to decide whether they can share my information with others.

Ultimately, it looks like the majority of us will spend some time online shopping for holiday gifts. My suggestion: Don't allow the pressure of getting that last minute gift compromise your security.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-08-29 15:11:19 GMT
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
  • Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:45:40 GMT
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
  • Obama tamps down prospect of strikes in Syria

    Obama tamps down prospect of strikes in Syria

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:30 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:30:40 GMT
    President Barack Obama faces a familiar question as he contemplates airstrikes in Syria: Should Congress have a say in his decision?
    President Barack Obama tamped down the prospect of imminent U.S. military action in Syria on Thursday, saying "we don't have a strategy yet" for degrading the violent militant group seeking to establish a caliphate in...
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices