Florida Regulators Offer Tips To Help Consumers Avoid Online Fraud During The Holidays
As the holiday season approaches, retail sales increase—including on the internet. Cyber Monday is consistently the top online shopping day for the entire year, with total sales nationwide surpassing $10 billion. Of course, e-commerce is big throughout the entire month of December.
Florida officials want to make sure consumers are protected. On November 26th, 2021, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) released some guidance to help consumers shop safely this season. Here, our Miami deceptive & unfair trade practices attorneys highlight five key tips that you can use to protect yourself against online shopping fraud/scams.
- Verify that an E-Commerce Website is Trusted and Secure
First and foremost, it is imperative that you verify that any website you are shopping through is trusted and secure. Florida consumer protection regulators are warning people to watch out for “spoof” websites, “phishing” websites, and other unreliable platforms. It is best to make sure that the website’s address begins with “https.”
- Try to Find Independent Reviews Regarding a Product and Company
You may find great deals from a company with which you have had no previous interactions. It is a best practice to try to find independent reviews regarding the specific product and the online retailer. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and private consumer review websites such as Yelp or Google are a useful place to start.
- Leans Towards Using Credit Cards Over Debit Cards
Most consumers are worried about the security of their financial information when using the internet. It is a reasonable concern. As a general rule, Florida regulators encourage the use of credit cards over debit cards when both are an option. Credit cards tend to offer a greater level of security protection. Though, you should always refer to the specific terms of your credit card/debit card.
- Know Your Rights Under the FDUTPA
In the unfortunate event that you are defrauded under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), you have the right to hold the perpetrator liable and seek financial compensation for your losses. If you have any questions about your rights under Florida law, contact an experienced FDUTPA attorney for help.
- When in Doubt, Shop Somewhere Else
If you have any doubts about the security of an e-commerce website or the legitimacy of their products/services, it is generally best to shop somewhere else. By working with reliable online retailers, you and your family will have a better holiday season.
Call Our South Florida Business and Consumer Fraud Attorney for Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyers have the skills and expertise to handle all types of fraud claims. If you have any questions about your rights under the FDUTPA, we are more than capable of helping to navigate the legal claims process. Get in touch with us today for a strictly private case evaluation. We handle business and consumer fraud claims in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and throughout South Florida.