FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, BC – With temperatures still soaring and lazy summer days lasting well into the evening it’s hard to comprehend the need to consider sending the kids back to school. However, reality does need to set in now and then and there are things parents need to consider when breaking out the plastic for their child’s triumphant return to the next grade.
“Online shopping scams are one of the riskiest according to BBB’s Risk Index,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “With so many people choosing the online route these days we simply need to do our due diligence and make sure we are shopping on reputable websites. Kids especially love to get the latest and greatest must-haves for school, so we want to make sure you are shopping on safe sites.”
BBB Back to School Shopping Tips:
• With online shopping scams in mind, make sure you’ve found legitimate websites. An encrypted website should have the https:// and lock icon in the URL.
• Avoid flashy pop-up ads from social media sites. These may be just click-bait ads that pull you out of a social media sites and request personal information.
• Do your research. An unknown website may offer a similar product at a lower price. The lowest price isn’t always the best route. Check for user reviews and badges for consumer protection agencies.
• Be extremely wary of any website or store that asks for your child’s personal information in order to access special deals.
• Read the fine print. Understand return policies, particularly on sale items.
• Google the ‘website name + scam.’ You can do this for pretty much anything you’re buying.
• Never pay with a money transfer.
• Use third-party pay portal such as PayPal and use your credit card.
• Order back to school things early so your kids have the things they want when school starts.
• Read user reviews of Amazon sellers.
• Check your credit card statements often.
• Life is expensive…stick to a budget.
Something else to consider…
Many parents don’t realize that a child’s Social Insurance Number is valuable to those committing ID theft. The last thing any parent wants is to discover their child has a poor credit history due to ID theft and has never even had a bank account!
• Don’t allow them to carry around their social insurance number. Leave it at home and locked in a safe place. In fact, there is no reason you need to carry your own SIN around.
• If a business or school asks for their SIN, ask questions. Why do they need it and where and how is this information being stored? How long is it being stored and how will it be terminated? Who has access to it?
• Registered Education Savings Plans are a great way to ensure you have money for your child’s post-secondary education, however opening an account with a SIN can leave a child vulnerable to ID theft should the system be hacked. Only deal with reputable companies that offer RESPs in their portfolio.
• Educate your child on being safe if they are active in the online world. Keep detailed personal information off of social media profiles.
Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
404-788 Beatty Street
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 365 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 6,000 complaints.