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Transcript: Safe Online Shopping

Anchor Intro: Online shopping has become a staple for many Americans, and that's especially true when the holidays roll around. But with the extra convenience can come extra risk. Bankrate.com has some tips to keep your online shopping safe and secure.

Voice-over 1: The local mall isn't open 24 hours a day. It doesn't allow you to compare prices from all over the world, and it certainly doesn't save gas and hassle by coming to you.

Voice-over 2: And that's the appeal of online shopping. But there's a price to pay for all that added convenience: risk. You're buying up front, and you're making yourself vulnerable to identity theft. So the key is to keep it safe.

Voice-over 3: One way to do that is to use names you know. While a lower price somewhere else may be tempting, that bargain may be for counterfeit or non-existent goods.

Voice-over 4: If you're thinking about an unknown site, check them out. Don't ever send money to a site that doesn't list a physical address or have a phone number for customer service. And call the number to make sure.

Voice-over 5: Look for safety seals: BBB, BuySafe, Verisign, Comodo and other companies offer varying degrees of safety. Look for their logos… read about the specific protection they offer. But then make sure the seal is real by verifying it with the sponsoring company.

Voice-over 6: Don't ever use a debit card online. Credit cards give you greater leverage if there's a problem and lower liability if you get ripped off.

Voice-over 7: And while you should always look for the https, that just means your information is encrypted. It's no guarantee the merchant is real.

Stand-up: One last tip: Get out of the house and shop some at locally owned stores. Online stores don't provide local jobs, pay local taxes or otherwise support your community: local stores do. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: April 20, 2008
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