Tips to avoid cheats online

SCAMWATCH

November 23, 2008|By Dan Thanh Dang

The Better Business Bureau is offering online shopping tips to protect you from being taken in by unscrupulous online retailers, scammers and hackers this holiday season:

* Protect your computer: Always update the most recent spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and secure firewalls.

* Use trustworthy Web sites: Check on the BBB Web site, the attorney general's site and do research online to check a seller's reputation.

* Protect personal information: Read the site's privacy policy to understand what personal data is being requested and how it will be used. If one isn't posted, that might be a red flag that your data is being sold to others,

* Trust your gut: Don't be afraid to pass up a deal that sounds too good to be true.

* Beware of phishing: Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails requesting financial information to fix problems with your account or an order you've placed. Call the business directly to ensure you're not being tricked into sharing personal information.

* Pay with a credit card: Don't run up debt, but use your credit card for more protection because you can dispute charges if you don't receive the item. You can dispute unauthorized charges and you won't be held liable if someone steals your card number and you report it.

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