In this crisis, MPB strives to provide comprehensive news, educational resources and essential information. Help us continue the work.

Tips for Safe Online Shopping

00:0000:00
Tips for Safe Online Shopping
Email share
Holiday shopping online
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File

More than 75 percent of U.S. consumers shop online according to a recent NPR poll. Shopping online can have some of the best deals, but it can also have some of the worst traps. MPB's Kobee Vance reports on how to stay safe while shopping online.

When you're shopping online for gifts and deals, be on the lookout for unsecured sites that may be trying to scam you. John O'Hara is the CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Mississippi. He shares a few tips on how to spot some red flags when shopping online this holiday season.

"If you see an item that you’re trying to buy, and you see the price 70%, 80% off, ridiculously low, that should raise a red flag. The other should be is it a secure website? Some of the fake websites we see out there, they ask for payment forms in gift cards, not credit cards.”

O'Hara says the key to knowing if a site is secure is a little padlock icon next to the web address in your browser. He says that even if a site looks secure, you should ALWAYS use a credit card when shopping online.

“The reason you want to use a credit card is because if you do not get that item, or there is an issue, you can take it up with the credit card company and prove ‘Hey I ordered this item and I never received it.’ When you use a debit card, the money comes directly out of your bank account.”

If you do encounter online fraud, you can contact the Better Business Bureau and they will help direct you to the correct agency to seek help.