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Tips and cautions for holiday e-shoppers

Sunday, November 26, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:49 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

While “Black Friday,” or the Friday after Thanksgiving, has marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season for years, a recent shift toward Internet shopping has created a nationwide boost in online sales the following Monday, now known as “Cyber Monday.” However, not all “e-tailers” are safe, and consumers should be cautious when shopping online.

Here are tips from the state Attorney General’s Office:

  • Consumers should use only well-known or recommended Web sites and use a secure browser or site. Sites that begin with “https” are more secure than those that begin “http.” Browsers and sites show they are secure by displaying a closed padlock icon, usually in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
  • When shopping, make sure you know what you are buying. Pay attention to product descriptions of items you purchase, and review and print your order before finalizing the sale.
  • Most online retailers will allow you to make purchases through a toll-free telephone number, however, you should write down the time of the call, the name of the clerk and any confirmation numbers.
  • Read return policies before you buy.
  • Always use a credit card online, because credit card users can dispute fraudulent charges if they arise. Debit cards do not always have that protection.


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