Includes Information for the Holidays About Shopping Online
The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new Spanish-language consumer education campaign to help consumers stay safe online. The campaign, Alerta en Linea, is part of a broad initiative developed by the FTC, other federal agencies, the technology industry, online marketers, and consumer advocates.
A comprehensive AlertaenLinea.gov Web site has a glossary of terms, tips, articles, videos, and interactive activities that address topics such as:
- How to recognize scams on the Internet;
- How to avoid hackers and viruses;
- How to deal with spam, spyware, phishing, and peer-to-peer file-sharing; and
- How to shop securely online.
Using practical and plain-language materials, the initiative aims to help computer users be alert to Internet fraud, secure their computers, and protect their personal information.
With the arrival of the holiday shopping season, the FTC also is urging consumers to be alert when shopping online. Among the tips about online shopping at AlertaenLinea.gov are:
- Know who you are dealing with. Legitimate companies do not ask for financial or personal information via e-mail or pop-ups.
- Read between the lines. Read the seller’s description of products closely.
- Calculate the costs. Remember to factor shipping and handling into the total cost of the order.
- Pay by credit or charge card. Do not send cash under any circumstances.
- Check out the terms of the transaction or sale, such as refund policies and delivery dates.
- Keep a paper trail. Print and save records of your transactions.
- Do not e-mail your financial information.
- Use anti-virus software and a firewall and update them regularly.
The Alerta en Linea Web site is at www.alertaenlinea.gov. There also are Alerta en Linea brochures and bookmarks available.
Copies of the brochure are available from the Alerta en Linea Web site at http://www.alertaenlinea.gov/ and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov/queja. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
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Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3194 or 202-326-3749