Attorney General's News Release
November 20, 2007
Nixon encourages consumers to shop online with care during “Cyber Monday”
Jefferson City, Mo. — While Missourians are expected to flock to retail stores the day after Thanksgiving, they are also expected to make the following Monday one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. It’s become known as Cyber Monday, and nearly three-quarters of retailers plan to offer special sales for online purchases that day.
Attorney General Jay Nixon wants Missourians to use caution when shopping online and make payments in a way that protects their personal information, as well as their cash.
“Holiday shopping can bring enjoyment, but also stress,” Nixon said. “So it’s especially important to know how to shop wisely online, understand return policies and pay in the safest way possible.”
Nixon’s tips for online shoppers:
- Use a secure browser. Look for an address that starts with https, rather than http. Also look for a closed padlock icon, usually in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
- Pay with a credit card. Federal law protects you if you need to dispute charges — but it doesn’t apply to debit cards, checks, cash, money orders or other forms of payment.
- Print your purchase order with details of the product and your confirmation number.
- Don't click the link in an e-mail that appears to come from a retailer. Instead, type in the address of the Web site you intend to visit.
- Before you buy, get a complete description of the item and parts included, and the price including shipping, delivery time, warranty information, return policy and complaint procedure.
- Before you finalize the order, make sure the quantity and total price are correct — for example, don’t buy 11 items when you mean to buy one.
- Buy over the phone if you prefer — most online retailers provide a toll-free number. Make note of the time and date of the purchase, product information, order number and the name of the clerk who takes your order.
- Understand the site’s return and refund policies. There is no law that requires retailers to accept returned merchandise.
- For expensive items listed at an online auction, use a third-party escrow service. This company pays the merchant only after you're satisfied with the product. The top Internet consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission each year is the online auction.
Nixon also reminds consumers to check potential gift items for recall notices, whether shopping online or in person. The Attorney General’s Web site, ago.mo.gov, features a recall clearinghouse, with a list of recent recalls for toys, food, cars and other consumer products.
Missourians who have complaints about retailers can contact Nixon’s office through his Web site or by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.
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Inquiries from consumers should be directed to email@example.com or 1-800-392-8222 (from within Missouri) or 573-751-3321 (outside Missouri).
All media inquiries should be directed to the Press Secretary.
E-mail Phone: 573-751-8844 Fax: 573-751-5818