November 25, 2019 at 6:21 AM CST
Updated November 25 at 12:15 PM
(Heartland News at 9) - Shoppers will take to their computers, credit cards in hand on Dec. 2 for Cyber Monday.
The Better Business Bureau said this Cyber Monday is expected to be one of the biggest shopping day of the year.
The National Retail Federation estimates total retail sales for the season to reach as high as $730.7 billion.
A total of 56 percent of holiday shoppers plan on clicking to shop.
BBB officials offer these tips when shopping online:
- Protect your computer. Install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Check for and install the latest updates and run virus scans regularly.
- Check a site’s security settings before entering financial data, such as a credit card number. If the site is secure, the URL (web address) on the payment page should start with “https://.”
- Shop trustworthy websites. Look for BBB Accredited Business seals on websites and click to confirm that they’re valid. BBB’s dynamic seal will take you to a site’s BBB Business Profile.
- Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals. Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may display free or low prices on hard-to-find items. There may be hidden costs, or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge. Look for and read the fine print.
- Beware of phishing. Legitimate businesses do not send emails claiming problems with an order, account or a package to lure the buyer into revealing financial information. If you receive such an email, BBB recommends that you call the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm a problem.
- Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you don’t receive an item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are any unauthorized charges on the card, and many card issuers have zero-liability policies if someone steals and uses your card number. Check your credit card statement regularly for unauthorized charges. Never wire money to someone you don’t know.
- Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page of an order or emails confirming the order until you receive the item and are satisfied.
- Obtain a tracking number for shipments. If you need the product before the holidays, find out when the seller intends to ship it and, if possible, how it will be shipped. The tracking number can help you find a lost order.
- Know your rights. Federal law requires that orders made by phone, mail or online be shipped by the date promised or within 30 days if no delivery time was stated. If goods aren’t shipped on time, shoppers can cancel and demand a refund. Consumers also may reject merchandise if it is defective or was misrepresented.
To check a company’s BBB Business Profile, go to bbb.org or by call 888-996-3887.