‘Don’t be fooled’: Tips to keep in mind before you buy online this holiday season

EL PASO, Texas — Online shopping can be great but if you’re not careful, you could lose out on your gifts and your cash. El Paso’s Better Business Bureau is asking you to be cautious before you buy this holiday shopping season.

The most common scams reported to the BBB’s “Scam Tracker” are related to online shopping fraud.

The President of El Paso’s BBB, Marybeth Stevens, said that especially during this time of the year, scammers are hard at working trying to get a hold of your personal information. “For the holidays…everything’s exacerbated,” Stevens said.

Before you buy, make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. Check the site’s security, it should always start with “https://”

Try to shop with your credit card. Most times credit cards can provide additional protection to get your money back if something were to happen. 

Another big tip, especially if you’re looking for a specific toy or item for your kids this holiday season, be aware of deals that are too good to be true.

“Don’t be fooled, especially during the holidays about extra low prices for one of these products,” Stevens said. “Research before you buy…because that’s what a lot of these sites do, maybe they’ll have a product and they’ll send you some kind of cheap version of it, but then they’ve also got your personal information, your credit card, things like that.”

Also look out for any phishing emails. Sometimes scammers will try to make it look like it’s from a reputable retailer. 

Think before you click, especially on social media. The BBB reporting that more than 20 percent of scams initiated over social media ended up with people losing money.

Misleading social media ads is the top scam to look out for. However, the BBB says there are at least a dozen popular scams this season. You can click here to view them all.

To check out any reported scams in our area our report one yourself, you can head to the “Scam Tracker” by clicking here.

For more online shopping tips, click here.