AG Alert: Pass on fake online sellers

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Arkansas Attorney General’s Office

Over the last several years and as COVID-19 has changed Arkansans’ daily routines, shopping online has become the new normal when purchasing necessities, gifts and even school supplies. While many sites may look honest and trustworthy, they sometimes have no intention of delivering the product that has been advertised.

“Scam websites can take advantage of Arkansans through fake advertising on social media at unrealistic rock-bottom prices,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. “Consumers should be careful and avoid purchases from suspicious websites until they research the seller and determine whether the seller can be trusted.”

Rutledge offers tips for Arkansans shopping online.

• Don’t fall for lower-than-expected prices. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

• Do your research. Use an internet search engine and the Better Business Bureau website to look for reviews of the company and check any buyer feedback, and determine what the seller’s return policy is.

• Find out where the seller is located and do a search to verify the address. Sometimes sellers will give a false address to make it appear as if they’re located in the United States. If the seller is overseas, returns and refunds can be complicated by the existence of international laws that lack consumer protections.

• Pay with a secure payment method such as a credit card or PayPal. Avoid wire transfers and gift card payments. Before entering personal information, confirm that any payment information provided online is through a secure website with a “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar and the letters “https” in the URL address.

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