Overstock.com, The Better Business Bureau is warning northern Arizona consumers about scam websites pretending to be Overstock.com.
The BBB has noticed a recent trend of phony websites that include the word “overstock” in the domain name. BBB officials said the scam sites are trying to trick consumers into thinking they are the popular retail site Overstock.com.
“Overstock.com is a highly visible online retailer, so it’s no wonder scammers try to mimic them,” said Carrie A. Hurt, president and CEO of a BBB umbrella organization known as the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “We’ve seen this with other major retailers as well. BBB is warning consumers: Be careful to look for the real domain when it comes to major retail sites.”
Overstock.com is a BBB Accredited Business with an “A” rating, as well as a National Partner of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Executives within the company said it should be easy for consumers to spot the phony websites as long as they pay attention to the domain name.
“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.”
In the past year, the BBB has had to shut down more than 100 fraudulent websites that have illegally used the BBB logo to trick consumers into thinking they are legitimate online retailers. In response, the BBB is urging online shoppers to follow a few safety tips to avoid scam sites.
First, the BBB recommends looking up business reviews on the bbb.org website. BBB officials are also reminding consumers that any legitimate website should have a BBB Accredited Business seal that takes users directly to that company’s BBB business review when they click on it.
Other online shopping tips include typing the URL directly into the browser instead of clicking on a link from an email or social media site unless you are absolutely certain the message is from the legitimate business. The payment page for a legitimate site should have “https” at the beginning of the address to indicate that it is a secure payment page.
Online shoppers are being urged to pay with a credit card instead of a debit card for greater fraud protection. The BBB also recommends looking for contact information that includes a real address, a toll-free customer service number and other ways to reach the company in the event of a problem.