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Learn more about Issues Related to Shopping

  • Anne Collier on "Shopping"
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I Have a Problem, Now What? Take Action!

  • Try to resolve the dispute with the merchant directly
  • Take your complaint up with the Better Business Bureau
  • Report the fraud to the proper authorities




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Shop Securely

  • Never use cash - Credit cards are a good way to limit your financial exposure online if you are scammed. If your credit card information is used to make unauthorized purchases, you are only responsible to pay a maximum of $50 under federal law. But, you must act responsibly.
  • Use an SSL secure connection for transactions involving the sharing of sensitive personal information: Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology encrypts transactions by creating a secure tunnel between your computer and the Web site server. Before you type in your credit card or sensitive information, be sure to look for indicators that the site is encrypted.
  • Create unique passwords - don't use your date of birth, social security number or recognizable words. Try to use a password with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and make the password as meaningless as you can remember. One strategy for creating and remembering passwords is to come up with a phrase that only you would remember. For example, the phrase "I was married on June 24 in Finland," would result in the password "iwmoj24if" by using the first letter of each word in the phrase. This password includes both letters and numbers and will be more difficult to guess. Another easy way to remember a combination of these is to take the first letter of a favorite song or phrase, for example "Old McDonald Had a Farm" could be "omhaf." And remember to keep your passwords to yourself and to use different passwords for different things. If someone guesses a password for one, you don't want him to have access to all those services. Never give out your password to anyone -- including someone claiming to be a customer service representative.
 
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