Staying Safe from Online Scammers

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By Elspeth Mizner

ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Amazon Prime Days is a chance for people to get a jump start on holiday shopping. Before you make your final purchases the Better Business Bureau has advice to keep yourself safe from scammers.

As Caitlin Driscoll, the Public Relations Director for the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania said, “Now is that time the shoppers need to be mindful of potential online shopping scams. When you are shopping online, check the URL, watch for bad grammar, search for contact information and read online reviews.”

People might be choosing Amazon and other websites to score deals. But before you check out, make sure the website is authentic. “Amazon is one of the top impersonated brands, through fake websites, through phishing, and email scams. People think they are making a purchase from a legitimate seller on Amazon while that may not be the case or they have issues when they are receiving what they have purchased or it’s misrepresented”, said Driscoll.

After buying online, porch pirates becomes the next concern. “The biggest thing to do is to track your packages, so whenever you receive tracking from things you may have ordered, make sure you verify when it’s going to be delivered”, advised Driscoll.

One of the biggest things you can do this holiday season to prevent porch pirates from stealing your packages is by sending your packages to a place like Erie Pack and Ship or another location where they will contact you when your packages arrives.

Curt Raines the owner of Erie Pack and Ship said while security cameras on doors help, but there’s more you can do. “Ring doorbells are great to catch people actually stealing your packages, but they don’t do any good by capturing licensee plates on cars and so on. So I actually suggest putting them on opposite on another on your house”.

The Better Business Bureau said if you are shopping on a site you aren’t familiar with, avoid adding payment and personal details until you are sure it’s a secure it. They also said to use a credit card whenever you can since it’s easier to dispute fraudulent charges on a credit card compared to a pre-paid card or gift card.


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