Empowerment Tips > Online Transactions

For any business that you do online…

  • Know whom you are dealing with before you order an item over the Internet.
  • If you are planning on ordering from a company that you have not done business with previously or you do not recognize as a reputable company, it’s a good idea to do some homework before giving your credit card information.
  • Does the website contain an address and phone number of the business?
  • Does the website state a return policy?
  • If you are signing up for a service or subscription, does the website contain a cancellation policy and state the steps you would take to cancel?
  • Is the product or service clearly described?
  • Is the order page of the website secure? (open lock icon changes into a closed lock)
  • If you have any questions, call the company directly.
  • Check on the number of complaints against the company by calling the Attorney General’s Office at (617) 727-8400 and by going to the  Better Business Bureau website.
  • Search for the company on Google. In the search box, enter the name of the company in quotation marks, the word AND, and the word scam or complaints. Examples:  “XYZ company”;  “XYY company” AND scam ; “XYZ company” AND complaints. If other people have had problems, you might also.
  • Trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, choose another company to do business with.
  • Do not respond to email offers by clicking on a link in the email.  Instead, always use a web address or phone number that you know is correct. Web addresses can usually be found on your monthly bill and phone numbers can also be found on the back of your credit card.
  • And, finally, a word of caution… Massachusetts’ consumer statutes may not protect you in cyberspace.