So, all your friends are shopping online and you’ve decided to try it. But you’re a little worried about protecting your information and not getting ripped off.
The Consumer Protection Office (CPO) of Manitoba offers these tips to help you shop safely online during the holiday season and year-round.
The CPO recommends shopping with recognizable and trusted businesses. If you’re considering using a new company, search online to read about other customer experiences and familiarize yourself with their terms and conditions including how to modify, cancel or return an order.
You should be cautious when using online auction sites, as consumer protection laws may not apply.
Personal information is as valuable to scammers as money. Protect your personal information by only shopping on secure websites, which have ‘https://’ at the beginning of the web address.
Learn how your browser indicates a website is secure, which might be with an icon of a lock or a green address bar. Be sure the website address you are visiting is accurate and not a spoof site intended to trick users.
Before completing an online purchase, review your shopping cart to ensure the products, prices and quantities are correct. Notice any extra costs such as taxes, shipping and handling, foreign exchange rates or duty fees that may be applicable.
Afterwards, monitor your banking statements for any charges you may not recognize.
Use credit card
If you pay for online purchases by credit card, you have extra protection if issues arise with your transaction. The Consumer Protection Act will:
• protect you against the unauthorized use of credit card information;
• limit your liability to $50 when credit card information is used without proper authorization;
• provide the right to reverse or cancel a credit card charge if you were entitled to a refund but didn’t get one from the vendor;
• give you the right to cancel a sale prior to receipt of goods or services if the seller has not provided certain information; and
• provide the opportunity to cancel an Internet sale if the seller fails to deliver your goods or services.
For more tips on online shopping, visit: http://manitoba.ca/justice/cp/cpo/info/shopping_safely_online.html