Tips for safe online shopping

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PHOENIX -- As it turns out, more and more consumers are turning away from traditional shopping and are turning to the Internet for their purchases. But when it comes to Internet purchases, there are do's and don'ts to keep from getting ripped off.

According to, do your shopping at home and on your own computer. Making your purchases on a Wi-Fi connection is asking for trouble because hackers can steal your information.

Always use a credit card. Using your debit card does not have as much protection. Credit cards are just a better safety net.

Speaking of credit cards, be sure to check your credit card statement. You, of course, want to ensure the purchase price is correct, but you also want to make sure there are no unauthorized charges put on there, as well.

You also want to stay away from unfamiliar sites. At the very least, be cautious and make sure you're using a website that uses a security label such as VeriSign or Cybertrust. Also look for https:// in the URL. The "s" in https:// stands for secure.
Don't trust all deals on social networking sites. Twitter and Facebook are great places to find bargains, but scammers know this and pose as retailers looking to get your credit card information.

And, finally, be careful with escrow websites. If a seller is pushing you to use a particular escrow service, you might be falling into a trap.