Local experts warn online shopping scams peak in December

10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Friday, December 22 2017 Dec 22, 2017 Friday, December 22, 2017 12:29:00 PM CST December 22, 2017 in News
By: Matt Weller, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - For some the holiday season means family, friends, and food.

For others, it means stores, sales, and shopping.

Black Friday continues to grow as the beginning of holiday shopping season. CNN estimates Americans spent nearly $5 billion on it this year.

But, for the first time, online shopping revenue surpassed in-store purchases. Retail giants Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy each had three million people visit their website on Black Friday alone.

"It's pretty amazing if you think about it, with a few clicks of a mouse or a swipe of your finger, you can find just about anything online shopping," said MU law professor Amy Schmitz, who studies online consumer protection.

However, while online shopping can be a fun and even productive experience, it can also be dangerous. Local experts like Schmitz warn that online scams peak in December, while people try to buy gifts for loved ones.

"Fraudsters have become really pretty good at sort of making it look like it's a legitimate website," Schmitz said. "That's where we, as consumers, need to be careful with who we're dealing with."

Better Business Bureau Regional Director Sean Spence said the best way to make sure you are shopping safely is to make sure you know exactly who you're doing business with.

"Make sure you do your research. Doing your research will solve most problems related to online shopping," he said.

However, if you don't know who the retailer is, both Spence and Schmitz said it's important to use your credit card.

"You have to use the credit card, not a debit card, because a credit card makes it much easier to recover the money if you are scammed," Spence said.

Spence and Schmitz recommended buying from established marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay. While those sites do allow third party sellers, both offer consumer dispute programs that give customers easier access to getting their money back.

Schmitz said if you do get caught in a scam, it's important to take action immediately.

"The most important thing is to pull your credit report and see what's on there that is not legitimate," she said. "You are going to have to write letters and get that clarified. Make phone calls. It can be very time consuming and it's a headache."

More News

Grid
List
PHELPS COUNTY - One man was airlifted to the hospital Saturday morning after he suffered "a large caliber gunshot wound... More >>
22 minutes ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 4:46:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Fall Into Art kicked off the weekend with its annual show, and artists shared what their art means... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 3:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD – The holidays are a time for family, fun and a lot of food. But buying food for... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 3:05:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the largest holiday shopping events in mid-Missouri takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Columbia Exposition... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - From the amateurs to the professional travel teams, dodgeball players of all skill sets took part in the... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:05:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A chase that reached speeds of 115 mph and a subsequent foot pursuit led to the arrest... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 12:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
Royal Palm Beach, FL ( WPTV ) -- Firefighters rescued several pets from a house fire in Royal Palm Beach... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:45:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Another fatal crash occurred in Missouri early Saturday morning. 30 year-old Richard Lowry, of Eugene, was pronounced... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:57:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - A Sedalia woman was pronounced dead following a crash near Sedalia on Nov. 16. 51-year-old Janna McQueen... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:24:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jury has found a Wisconsin man guilty of first-degree murder for killing a Missouri mother who... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Families filled empty shoeboxes with hygiene products, school supplies, clothes, shoes and toys for children in need at... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 8:04:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The price of a typical Thanksgiving meal in Missouri is a full $5.25 higher than the national average.... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 7:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The nature of Twitter and how government officials use it was at the heart of a hearing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced cuts to costs Friday to help with enrollment at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 3:24:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- USA Gymnastics' longtime chief operating officer has resigned, the organization said Friday, becoming the latest in a string... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:56:27 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A tree in downtown Columbia became the target of vandalism Thursday night when two men were caught on camera... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:49:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Several groups in the City of Columbia are working to regulate and tax short-term rentals, such as Airbnb's.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 1:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man suspected of stealing more than $46,000 from the Boone County Treasurer's Office in late 2017 is... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:21:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
6pm 37°
7pm 36°
8pm 35°
9pm 35°