In the past year, Better Business Bureau has shut down more than one hundred fraudulent websites that illegally steal the famous BBB logo and imply 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, so it’s no wonder scammers try to mimic them,” noted Carrie A. Hurt, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the umbrella organization for 113 BBBs across the U.S. and Canada. “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.”
“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 your favorite online retailers.
• Type the URL directly into your browser; do not click on a link from an email or social media site unless you are 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.