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Daily Q&A: How do I find out if an online electronics 'deal' is really a scam?

How do I know if online deals for electronics are actually good deals?

Scams abound on the Internet. So consumers must be vigilant about researching products and who's selling them.

The Better Business Bureau offers these warnings when considering the purchase of electronics online:

Scammers use tantalizingly low prices to lure victims in. If the prices for items are well below those of trusted competitors, it's a sign to walk away.

Some phony electronics Web sites are created by scammers overseas. As a result, the Web sites, or spam e-mails directing shoppers to the site, might have many grammatical mistakes or spelling errors.

Scammers often ask victims to wire payment through Western Union or MoneyGram because the money cannot be easily tracked or retrieved in the case of fraud. The BBB recommends always using a credit card to pay. You can dispute the charge with your credit card carrier and hopefully get your money back.

Scam websites will often display the seals from certification organizations such as VeriSign, IQNet or TRUSTe without authorization or falsely claim to be accredited by the BBB. Confirm that the business's use of the seal is legitimate.

Read more at www.bbb.org/us/article/dont-get-ripped-off-when-buying-electronics-online-bbb-says-know-the-red-flags-of-a-scam-site-13248.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How do I find out if an online electronics 'deal' is really a scam? 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 11:52am]
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