Have you ever opted for a paperless,
e-receipt? Some retailers and banks have started offering customers the option
of receiving receipts from purchases and ATM transactions via email. While this
is a convenient alternative to paper clutter, Better Business Bureau is
reminding shoppers to protect their personal information and identity in the
Many retailers offer e-receipts for both our
convenience and theirs. E-receipts save retailers money, and they make it
easier for us to electronically file them away until they’re needed for
returns, warranties or taxes.
E-receipts can often be tied to your store affinity
card, but you can often opt for paperless simply by providing your email
address to the clerk at the time of purchase.
As an added convenience for you, there are online
companies that offer to organize and store digital receipts. You must create an
account and provide your credit or debit card information, which the company
uses to track transactions. After purchases, the company retrieves receipt
information directly from retailers and stores it online. While this sounds
like a great idea, this kind of service is ripe for scammers to mimic in order
to steal your information.
While paperless receipts may offer savings for retailers
and convenience to you, be sure you’re aware of what else you could be
receiving in your email inbox. Along with receipts, businesses may send surveys,
coupons and other promotional offers. They may also use your information to
build profiles on demographics and buying habits.
For shoppers who are interested in opting for the
paperless, e-receipt, BBB offers the following tips:
Find out how the business plans to keep your
information secure. Check to see if
the business plans on selling your information to third-parties or if they will give
your information to affiliated businesses. If they do, be on the lookout for
unsolicited emails requesting your personal information; they could be scams
that download malware on your computer.
Ask if you can opt-out of receiving promotional
emails. Now that the business has your
email address, it’s possible you’ll start to receive coupons, newsletters and
other promotional emails from them…and even from others if they’ve sold or
shared your data. You may want to set up a separate email address to use for
paperless receipts so that you can easily monitor it for spam. If you
don’t want your information to be given out, ask if they have a program where
you can opt-out of your information being shared and put on marketing lists.
Beware of scams! Having receipts emailed can also make you susceptible to look-a-like
phishing emails and other identity theft scams. Scammers pose as retailers or
banks with realistic-looking emails that may claim there are problems with your
purchase and request that you click a link to fix it. The link may take you to
a fraudulent site that asks for your personal information, or it might download
malware on your computer that will search your hard drive for account numbers
and passwords. Never click on an email if you have any doubt!
Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date. Whether or not you plan to increase your internet and email
use, it’s always a good idea to make sure your system’s security plan is
updated regularly. Spammers feed off of online shoppers who fail to update
their security patches.
For more BBB tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org, follow us
on Facebook at www.faceblook.com/UtahBBB and Twitter at www.twitter.com/UtahBBB.