Parents looking for back to school bargains should beware of online scams. (Photo from Metro Creative Graphics)

Parents looking for back to school bargains should beware of online scams. (Photo from Metro Creative Graphics)

Be careful buying school supplies online

Better Business Bureau tips worth noting

  • Aug. 21, 2018 10:30 a.m.

Rick Stiebel – Sooke News Mirror

Parents looking for back to school bargains should beware of online scams.

The Better Business Bureau issued a warning last week regarding the increasing proliferation of scams involving internet purchases, especially timely considering the end of summer finds many cash-strapped parents looking for ways to save a few bucks on back to school supplies.

Evan Kelly, senior communications advisor for the BBB in the Lower Mainland, said in a media advisory that online purchase scams reached the top of the Better Business Bureau’s Top 10 scam list in 2017.

“Online shopping scams are now one of the riskiest scams according to BBB’s Risk Index. The problem is there are many different kinds of scams online and even honest businesses can get caught with things like counterfeit goods moving through their own supply chains,” he said.

Kelly stresses the importance of ensuring you are dealing with a legitimate website, warning that the BBB has seen fraudulent websites showing up above legitimate ones on search pages.

Doing research is important as well. Although an unknown website may offer a similar product at a lower price, the lowest price isn’t always the best route. Check for user reviews and badges for consumer protection agencies, and remember that an encrypted website should have the https:// and lock icon in the URL.

Avoid flashy pop-up ads from social media sites because they may be click-bait ads requesting personal information pulled out of a social media site.

”Be extremely wary of any website that asks for your child’s personal information in order to access special deals,” Kelly emphasized.

Also, read the fine print and understand return policies, especially for items on sale. Always use a credit card and never pay with a money transfer. and check your credit card statements frequently.