Better Business Bureau warns of online scams during holidays

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) —With retail sales to increase during the holiday season, the Georgia Attorney General and Better Business Bureau want you to beware of online scams.

“The thing that we want people to do is shop safety,” said Kelvin Collins with the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia.

Collins says know the company you’re buying from, and buy directly from their website. He says if you aren’t familiar with a business, do research and make sure to stay clear of online advertisements from companies you don’t know.

“A lot of people get in trouble when they’re clicking on pop up ads, when they’re  surfing or clicking on links on social media,” said Collins.

According to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, scammers offer popular products at below-market prices on fake websites. 

Collins says a lot of these deals come from overseas where the scammer will take your money, and you never receive the product.

A Warner Robins resident says she was scammed out of a holiday present. Luckily for her though, the credit card company refunded the money. 

Experts say credit cards offer greater protections against fraud, because you can report it and request a chargeback.

“And make sure before you enter your personal information or your credit card information that you’re on a secure site,” said Collins.

Look at the address bar when you shop online. If it says H-T-T-P-S or has a lock symbol, the website is secured. 

The Attorney General’s Office says when making a purchase, ask what the store’s return policies are, and always keep your receipts in case you have to return or exchange an item.

Collins agrees and encourages online shoppers to also read a company’s private policy to find out how they are protecting your personal information.

Collins says make sure your computer is up to date on its anti-virus software with a good firewall.