CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — As the holiday shopping season begins, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey shares tips for safe cyber Monday shopping. Morrisey recommends consumers limit use of debit cards, pay close attention to holiday credit card offers and be aware of fraudulent websites or coupons that resemble the real thing.
According to Morrisey, credit cards provide the best protection to dispute charges when goods or services do not arrive as promised. Whereas debit cards are no different than cash and come with no special protection.
He said people should read contracts for holiday credit card offers closely. Deferred interest promotions may promise zero-percent interest through December 2020, but failure to pay off the entire balance by the promotion period’s end could stick the consumer with an interest charge dating back to the item’s original purchase date.
When shopping in-store, Morrisey said you should leave Social Security cards and other non-essential information at home, lock presents away in the trunk, watch for skimming devices and use a RFID blocking sleeve or wallet to protect credit/debit cards from electronic pickpockets.
He said red flags of fraudulent websites include spelling mistakes and low-quality images. Make sure URL addresses legitimately match the known retailer’s website, and payment websites start with “https://” as the “s” indicates a secure page.
If you think you were scammed while shopping, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.