Confirm that an online company is legitimate by checking online for reviews and referrals, confirming the company's physical address, checking to see if the company is listed with the Better Business Bureau and using a secure website that protects customers' financial data. Pay with a credit card when shopping with an online company in order to protect purchases under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
Checking online referrals and reviews for an online company can reveal whether the business has any scam alerts. Sites such as the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI also list this information. Reviews and referrals can also give consumers a better idea of the company's return and refund policies.
The Better Business Bureau informs consumers if any complaints have been filed against an online company or if any government actions have been taken against the business. Consumers can also find out whether the company has been rated by the Better Business Bureau. The local chamber of commerce is an additional source that can inform shoppers whether an online company is accredited. Do not give out sensitive personal information, credit card numbers or any other type of financial information before you verify whether a company is legitimate.