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Watch out for back-to-school scams online, FTC says

Back-to-school-Suplies g2c2fa1e3f_640Back-to-school shopping can be stressful for families and rising costs add to the tensions.

However, if you get caught up in a scam, things will get worse fast.

If you like the convenience of online school shopping, watch out for these problems, advises Andrew Rayo, consumer education specialist

  • Check refund and return policies, especially on sale or clearance items. Sellers often have different and stricter refund and return policies for sale items and dishonest sellers will use tricky disclosures and fine print to deny refund requests.
  • Use a credit card for online purchases, if possible. Credit cards offer the most protection against fraud, including the right to dispute charges if there are problems with your purchase.
  • Always save your receipts or confirmation emails. If something goes wrong, these will help you get your money back from the seller or file a dispute with your credit card company.
  • You don’t have to accept shipping delays. If you bought an item online and never received it, notify the seller as soon as possible. If the seller hasn’t shipped the item within the timeframe they promised when you bought it, the law says you can cancel the order for a full refund.
  • Look for pre-checked boxes. It’s illegal, but some businesses use these hoping you won’t notice that you’re agreeing to be billed later. Uncheck the box if you don’t agree with what it says. If you want to change or cancel a subscription or automatic charges, sellers need to give you an easy way to cancel.

Go to “Online Shopping” for more ways to save on back-to-school shopping and avoid scams.

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