W.Va. Retailers Association encourages smart shopping during holiday season
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Online shoppers are expected to set records on Cyber Monday with almost 64 million people making purchases online.
It is not a surprise for the West Virginia Retailers Association. The Association’s President, Bridget Lamber, said businesses learned a lot about their customer base during the peak COVID-pandemic years.
“All retailers adjusted just like small mom-and-pop stores did, we had less in-store shopping and more online shopping,” she said. “There was a shift during the pandemic, in how consumers got their goods.”
However, she does recommend taking a pause before making a purchase in the cart to ensure the website the purchase is coming from is legitimate.
“Be careful of popup ads that will draw you in, make sure that you do a shopping list before this is so that people can be budget savvy and plan what they’re going to be getting for the holiday season,” she advised.
“We suggest you go on to the retailer’s website, look and make sure that HTTPS is part of the URL.”
“Whether you choose to physically go to stores or shop online, always remember the holiday season also brings out seasonal scams,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “Scammers take advantage of increased consumer activity during the holidays, and every transaction is an opportunity for a fraudster to steal your money or identity. Don’t let buying gifts result in personal information ending up in the wrong hands.”
She said she hopes the retailers association with the organization makes consumer feel more secure.
“West Virginia Retailers Association works with retailers to make sure that they are compliant with state laws and are very good partners with our state offering good consumer deals,” she said. “We serve as a resource for them to make sure that they are following state law that they are updated on the latest changes and we feel like gives consumers confidence when they’re shopping and wreath at retail stores in West Virginia.”
Morrisey also provided the following tips for online consumers:
- Don’t use public WiFi when entering credit card information for online purchases.
- Credit cards, whether shopping online or in stores, provide the best protection to dispute charges when goods or services do not arrive as promised. Debit cards, in contrast, are no different than cash and come with no special protection.
- Be wary of websites that ask for unusual forms of payment. It’s always best to pay with a credit card.
- Watch for spelling mistakes or low-quality images, which may indicate a hastily created website
- Ensure URL addresses legitimately match the known retailer’s website.
- Avoid money transfers to unknown people, instead rely upon secure payment systems.
- Make sure the payment page starts with https:// as the “s” indicates a secure page.
- Frequently check credit and bank statements to catch any fraudulent purchases.
To reach the consumer protection division of a state’s attorney general in the WSAZ viewing area, click the state name below:
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