BBB says Paperless Trend May Pose Threat of Fraud
Wallingford, CT – February 13, 2014 – Don’t be surprised if a cashier asks if you would like a printed copy of a receipt. Instead of using paper, a growing number of retailers are offering “eReceipts,” a proof of purchase that is emailed to consumers. This approach is friendly to the environment, reduces retailers’ costs and can help you organize your receipts. However, Connecticut Better Business Bureau is advising consumers about some of the problems associated with giving your email address to retailers.
Businesses may send junk mail filled with surveys, coupons and other promotional offers, or could use your information to build profiles on demographics and buying habits.
Additionally, having receipts emailed to you can make you more susceptible to phishing and other identity theft scams. Scammers can easily pose as retailers using realistic-looking emails to trick you into opening it, and directing you to click on a specific link. The link may take you to a fraudulent site that asks for your personal information or download malware on your computer.
For shoppers interested in paperless, e-receipts, BBB offers the following advice:
Ask how the business plans to use your information - Now that the business has your email address, it’s possible you’ll start receiving coupons, newsletters and other promotional emails from it. If the business plans to sell or share your information you could start receiving unsolicited emails. Beware of any emails requesting your personal information; they could be scams that download malware on your computer.
Consider creating a new email account - This day and age you can very easily create an email account for other purposes with minimal information required. Consider creating one specifically for your receipts. Limit the personal information you share when creating the account. Make sure to use a unique password for that specific account.
Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date - It’s always a good idea to make sure your computer’s security program is updated regularly. Spammers feed off of online shoppers who fail to update their anti-virus software.
Confirm your e-receipt has been delivered - Before leaving the store, ensure the receipt has been delivered to your inbox. If you do not have the ability to check your email at that moment, consider getting a hard copy of your receipt until you can confirm the receipt made it into your inbox.
Consider third-party software - There is software available, including many smartphone apps that allow you to store all your receipts in one, safe place. Most of these programs allow you to simply take a picture or scan your receipt and then it is digitized and stored on to your smartphone or computer. If you do not have a smartphone, there are programs that can create an email address for you that can be used specifically for e-receipts.
You will find more tips you can trust at www.ct.bbb.org.