BBB warning: Don't be duped by phony websites pretending to be Overstockby jmaloni
In the past year, Better Business Bureau has shut down more than 100 fraudulent websites that illegally stole the famous BBB logo and implied they are legitimate sites. A noticeable trend recently is websites that include the word "overstock" in the domain name, hoping to fool consumers into thinking they are shopping with overstock.com.
Overstock.com is a highly visible online retailer, and major retailers have had their names used for similar scams. BBB is warning consumers to be careful and look for the real domain when it comes to major retail sites.
"Our Web address is simple: overstock.com," said Jonathan Johnson, executive vice chairman of Overstock.com Inc. "That's all. If the name is longer, or uses any additional words, or letters, if it has any words other than 'overstock' before the dot com, it's not our website."
Overstock.com is a BBB-accredited business with an A rating, as well as a national partner of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The company has been recognized by many organizations, including Compuware as a "Best of the Web" award winner for four years in a row.
BBB suggests the following tips for online shoppers to avoid bogus websites:
- Go to bbb.org to look up the BBB business reviews of favorite online retailers.
- Type the URL directly into a browser; do not click on a link from an email or social media site unless absolutely sure the message is from the legitimate business.
- On the payment page, look for "https" at the beginning of the address (the "s" stands for "secure").
- Look for "Contact Us" information, including a real address, a toll-free customer service number, and other ways to reach the company if you have a problem.
- Use a credit card (not a debit card) when shopping online for greater protections against possible fraud.
- If a website has a "BBB Accredited Business" seal, click on it. A real seal should link directly to that company's BBB business review.
For more BBB information, visit bbb.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for business reviews on more than 4.5 million companies, and charity reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the U.S. and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.