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Is it safe to buy products online?

Norcross, GA |

Is it recommended to buy products online with credit cards? Or am I asking to be a victim of identity theft by doing so?


Attorney Answers 3


I buy most of what I need online. I have a "subscription" to dog food on Amazon, even boiught some suits from them. I by books online, and my wife buys shoes and music online. I bought a coat from Cabelas and T-shirts from Duluth Trading. As you can see, reputation of the online store is important to me. The key is caution. You have to secure your home network and computer. A PC tech can do that, but it can involve, for example, Microsoft security essentials and a scanner like AVG, a paid edition. Keep track of what you order. You should secure your PC anyway. One option would be to try stores you use anyway. For example or One caution is NEVER open an email offer not from a vendor you have signed up for (Sears, for example), never "click through" the ad or email. If an email loosk at all suspicious call the vendor but do NOT use the phone number in the email. CONSIDER THIS: take an Internet course from your local community college. It will be great fun, you will be in class with others who have the same questions, and you will be using the schools computers to experiment with.

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If done properly, yes, very safe. Always using a credit card is good precentative law and a good line of defense, since in the event of a dispute, it's VISA and Mastercard who can fight for you, rather than you needing a lawyer.

It's also wise to choose your business partners carefully, and only buy from big, US-based, reputable companies who value their reputation and will not want you, e.g., posting something negative about them on your Facebook page. In contrast, many Asian companies don't operate with the same care, since Asian countries don't have or don't enforce basic intellectual property laws and don't have basic consumer safety standards.

Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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My colleagues give good advice. Using PayPal is an alterntaive to using your credit card, and they have a very developed system of consumer complaints and protection.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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