Consumers Warned To Spend Holiday Cash Wisely

7 years 3 weeks 5 hours ago Monday, December 27 2010 Dec 27, 2010 Monday, December 27, 2010 9:43:07 PM CST December 27, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - You may have received some extra cash in your stocking, but make sure you know how to spend it safely. If you are headed online, watch out for cyber scams.  Branch manager for Mid-Missouri's Better Business Bureau office, Adrian McBride, advises shopping on sites with an url that has an "s" following http.  This means it is a secure site. McBride also said any great deals online of electronic or luxury items are probably too good to be true.

"Look at some other sites to see what other companies are charging in price but just do your homework and be smart about it," McBride said. "It's one of those scenarios if it looks to good to be true it probably is."

He suggests shopping locally on Craigslist as well and doing the transaction in person. That way there's face-to-face interaction. Make sure to bring a friend if you feel uncomfortable. Shopping at large retailers you know and trust is also a smart decision if buying online. Also, stick with a credit card over a debit card for online transactions.

"If you use a credit card and you don't receive your merchandise in a timely manner or if it's not exactly what you thought, you can stop payment on that and ship back the product," McBride said.

Also look out for e-mail scams.  Avoid clicking links or opening attachments if you cannot confirm who they came from and if the e-mail address is legitimate.

McBride said this week is also busy for those making a New Year donation to charities. Check the BBB website for a list of national and local organizations, and what the charity standards are.  The BBB can also tell you it's deducitbility and accountability before you make the donation. To visit the BBB home page, click the link above.

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