BBB warns of online holiday scams

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POSTED: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 11:12am

UPDATED: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 11:14am

Many people have already started their holiday shopping and while shopping online is convenient, it's also a hotbed for scammers trying to steal money and identities.

It's easy to get wrapped in the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season, but The Better Business bureau wants you first stop to make sure you're protected when shopping online.

The BBB said always make sure a website is legitimate. Research when the business was started and how long the website has been registered.

It says also check a website's security.

"One way of doing that is in the URL. It'll have https. That “S” stands for security. It should also have a little padlock on the website so that also helps determine the security of a website," said Margo Lepe with the BBB of El Paso.

They said do not give your personal information to websites that have deals and prices that seem too good to be true.

"They might offer discounts or very low prices on certain items. So often times make comparisons and if something seems really just seems really incredibly affordable, it's such a good deal. It's important that you do your research before giving out that information," said Lepe.

It said check for return and exchange policies and know how long it will take to ship your item.

In the end, paying or giving your personal information to the wrong person online could ruin your holiday season.

"It can be a big headache. It can take hundreds of hours to correct and thousands of dollars so it's important to protect yourself," said Lepe.

The BBB also said be wary of transactions that ask you to wire money and pay with a credit card whenever possible because under federal law, you can dispute a credit card charge if you don't receive an item.

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