Boycott Watch  
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Scam Alert - Prevent website rip-offs: Tips to avoid websites which sell fake goods then may rip you off again by using your credit card without your knowledge or permission.
Summary: It's your money.
    Just because you find what appears to be a great deal on the Internet does not mean the website is legitimate. Many fraudulent websites go out of their way to look real, even displaying fake secure commerce information. Take for example, a site which sells DVD's at low prices. We have received a scam report for this site, claiming a customer purchased a DVD from the site only to receive a poor copy of the actual DVD they wanted, not the actual product they wanted. When the customer contacted the company, the site contacts claimed they had the right to sell them a poor copy under the "Berne act" which deals with international copyright, but that was blatantly false.

    The site was actually referring to the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 (, an international agreement to protect people against fake copies of artistic work. It does not allow people to sell bootleg copies.

    Boycott Watch checked the Click DVD Store website and immediately found the following problems, but there are probably more:

1) There is no contact information for the company, nor is there any information about the company whatsoever.

2) The store displays several images of websites that certify the security of online retailers, but none of those images have the required links to verify those services and certifications.

3) The site does not have secure server capability, which is indicated by the URL starting with HTTPS: and not HTTP. This means if you send your credit card number to them, you are sending the number out in the open where everyone in the world can see it.

    Boycott Watch reminds people to check the return policy of every business they buy from, be it online or a store around the corner. For online stores, make sure there is contact information, and a customer service phone number is strongly recommended. The way we see it, any website which asks you for money but refuses to post an address and phone number is a scam. Businesses which make it difficult for you to contact them are going to be difficult to work with. Every secure sales verification image on a website must link to a verification page on the claimed secure network, and these too should be verified since those links can be faked as well. Most importantly, never use your credit card on a website that you are not 100% comfortable with. If you are not sure of or familiar with a website, use a pre-paid disposable debit card or a service like PayPal, providing it is a debit-only account. While you do have recourse with your credit card company, the aggravation of having to deal with your bank account being cleared out on a day you need to buy food, gas or pay your bills is something you surely want to avoid.

    If, therefore, you see any one of the above problems on any website, run. The Click DVD Store website company has violated the three cardinal rules everyone needs to follow before buying anything online. This is not to say that websites which follow the rules are all safe, but it is an important start. It's your money.

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