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Consumer Updates

Don’t let paperless, e-receipts compromise your personal information

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Better Business Bureau
January 14, 2013 | 5,595 views | Post a comment

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Some retailers have started offering customers the option to receive receipts from purchases via email. While this can be a convenient alternative to printed receipts, Better Business Bureau is reminding shoppers to keep their identity safe in the process.

E-receipts save retailers money, and make it easier for you to electronically file your receipts away. But beware of what else you could receive in your inbox. Businesses may send junk mail filled with surveys, coupons and other promotional offers, or they could use your information to build profiles on demographics and buying habits.

Additionally, having receipts emailed to you can make you more susceptible to phishing and other identity theft scams. Scammers can easily pose as retailers using realistic-looking emails that direct you to click on a link.

The link may take you to a fraudulent site that asks for your personal information or download malware on your computer.

For shoppers interested in paperless, e-receipts BBB offers the following tips:
Ask how the business plans to use your information. Now that the business has your email address, it’s possible you’ll start receiving coupons, newsletters and other promotional emails from it. If the business plans to sell or share your information you could start receiving unsolicited emails. Be vigilant of any emails requesting your personal information; they could be scams that download malware on your computer.

Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date. It’s always a good idea to make sure your computer system’s security program is updated regularly. Spammers feed off of online shoppers who fail to update their anti-virus software.

Confirm your e-receipt has been delivered. Before leaving the store, ensure the receipt has been delivered to your inbox. If you do not have the ability to check your email at that moment, consider getting a hard copy of your receipt until you can confirm the receipt made it into your inbox.

Consider a third-party software. There is software available that lets you store all your receipts in one, safe place. Most of these programs allow you to simply take a picture of or scan your receipt and then it is digitized and stored to your smart phone or computer. If you do not have a smartphone, the program can create an email address for you that can be used for purchases and e-receipts.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit
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