How to protect yourself from fraudulent sellers while shopping online for the holidays

The Iowa Attorney General says some people have been filing complaints about scam sellers on websites like Amazon and Walmart. Some have struggled to get refunds for counterfeit products they got. Others never received their packages at all after paying.

The Iowa Attorney General has some tips for buying from third-party sellers, which are prevalent on Amazon and Walmart.

  • Check out the seller. Look at the reviews, the return policies and contact info to determine how legitimate they are. You can even head over to the Better Business Bureau's website to really make sure there are no red flags.
  • Read reviews carefully. Often times, reviews are about the product, not the specific seller. So one person may have a great experience and someone else might've had a nightmare. So weigh those reviews when deciding if and how to buy something.
  • Examine return policies. Look for any added fees to ship or restock returns. Look out for sellers that don't allow returns at all and make your decisions wisely.
  • Use a credit card. Check your bank statements regularly for suspicious transactions.

If you buy something and think you've been scammed, contact your local police department or file a complaint with the Iowa or Illinois Attorneys' General offices.

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