ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: avoiding Father's Day scams - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: avoiding Father's Day scams

ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: avoiding Father's Day scams

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Let's be honest, and I challenge you to argue this with me: when shopping for Mom or Dad, Dad is the easiest. C'mon, you know it's true. Tools, ties, trips, books, gadgets, grilling...boom, you're done. Easy.

What's not so easy, according to ScamAwareness.org and to the Better Business Bureau, is avoiding the scams that target Dad on Father's Day. "Our biggest concern on days like this are the online shopping scams and things like fake e-cards,” said Evan Kelly of the BBB serving Mainland British Columbia. “However, if the man in your house prefers an excursion like booking a fishing trip, you want to make sure you read any fine print in any contract that is associated with it.”

The BBB offered these tips to avoid Father's Day scams:

* Start with trust. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable business. Go to the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South and check out any business reviews.

* Check for additional fees and limitations before purchasing. Make sure you know if any additional fees apply for things like equipment rental, meals and transportation. Check for other limitations; some high adventure activities restrict those with certain health issues and ask about safety liabilities.

* Check the cancellation and refund policies. Make sure you know the expiration date of the offer, and if a refund is available if Dad can’t make it for any reason. 

* Read rental agreements carefully. The agreement should spell out base rental cost, daily fees, insurance, and other details such as time restrictions. If at all possible, visually inspect the rental prior to committing.

* Get the details in writing. For things like tours, classes, sightseeing and lessons, make sure you get all of the costs and features in writing. What services and equipment are included? Ensure taxes, service fees and other charges are clearly disclosed.

SHOPPING FOR DAD:

* Ask for Gift Receipts. Without proof-of-purchase, the recipient may be turned down for returning or exchanging the item, or risk receiving an exchange at a lower price. 

* Gift Cards and Certificates: Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate prior to purchase. If you are giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, be sure the gift card is redeemable for internet shopping and not just for in-store use. Make sure the card has not been tampered with. DO NOT BUY GIFT CARDS OFF OF CAROUSELS IN THE MIDDLE OF DEPARTMENT OR GROCERY STORES. Here's why.

* Electronics: Don’t remove it from its box before wrapping it up as a gift. Many electronics stores require the original packaging in order to process returns or exchanges.

SHOPPING ONLINE FOR DAD: 

* Know the Website.  Before ordering online, check the URL link to make sure it starts with “https://” (the ‘s’ means it is secure). Also look for a small padlock icon usually located at the corner of the URL bar.

* Choose the Correct Payment Method.  Always pay with a credit card when shopping online. If you are buying something privately through a website like Craigslist, be sure to you a reputable payment portal like PayPal. Never wire cash to someone you don’t know.

* Be wary of e-Cards. Don’t open e-cards unless you know who sent it. They should contain specific names of your kids and have correct spelling. Opening a fake e-card could open your computer up to a host of malware and spyware. If you have any concerns about an e-card you received, just delete it. We recommend not opening e-cards that contain attachments. You can also ask mom or the kids if they did in fact send you an e-card.

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