BBB’s advice for handling electronic receipts
Whether you’re buying a new toaster or a new pair ofshoes, it’s a good idea to keep a receipt in case you need to return orexchange your items. Instead of paper receipts, many retailers now offer toemail a receipt to you. You can even keep them organized by using one of manysmartphone apps. E-receipts are becoming more popular, but BetterBusiness Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and thePermian Basin advises shoppers of the problems that could arise from givingyour email address to retailers.
E-receiptssave retailers money, and make it easier for you to electronically file yourreceipts away. But beware of what else you could receive in your inbox.Businesses may send junk mail filled with surveys, coupons and otherpromotional offers. They could use your information to build profiles ondemographics and buying habits.
Additionally,having receipts emailed to you can make you more susceptible to phishing andother identity theft scams. Scammers can easily pose as retailers usingrealistic-looking emails to trick you into opening it, and directing you toclick on a specific link. The link may take you to a fraudulent site that asksfor your personal information or download malware on your computer.
Forshoppers interested in paperless, e-receipts, BBB offers the followingadvice:
· Ask how the business plans to use yourinformation.Now that the business has your email address, it’s possible you’ll startreceiving coupons, newsletters and other promotional emails from it. If thebusiness plans to sell or share your information you could start receivingunsolicited emails. Beware of any emails requesting your personal information;they could be scams that download malware on your computer.
- Consider creating a new email account. This day and age you can very easily create an email account for other purposes with minimal information required. Consider creating one specifically for your receipts. Limit the personal information you share when creating the account. Make sure to use a unique password for that specific account.
· Make sure your anti-virus software isup-to-date. It’salways a good idea to make sure your computer’s security program is updatedregularly. Spammers feed off of online shoppers who fail to update theiranti-virus software.
· Confirm your e-receipt has been delivered. Before leaving thestore, ensure the receipt has been delivered to your inbox. If you do not havethe ability to check your email at that moment, consider getting a hard copy ofyour receipt until you can confirm the receipt made it into your inbox.
- Consider third-party software. There is software available, including many smartphone apps that allow you to store all your receipts in one, safe place. Most of these programs allow you to simply take a picture or scan your receipt and then it is digitized and stored on to your smartphone or computer. If you do not have a smartphone, there are programs that can create an email address for you that can be used specifically for e-receipts.