Smart and safe back-to-school shopping tips from the BBB

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Back-to-school shopping can cause economic anxiety for families. Action 2 News This Morning invited the Better Business Bureau on to find out what they recommend for saving money, and to avoid losing it to scammers.

Susan Bach says it’s important to compare prices at stores and online.

“Make it a game with your kids,” Bach suggests. “This is a chance to practice their math skills. Who can find the lowest deal? Who can find the best coupon? What percentage off would that be?”

Look for cash back, rebates and student discounts.

Know each store’s return policy.

Sign up for email alerts from your favorite stores.

“Sometimes if you join a rewards club or something like that you get some more coupons throughout the year,” Bach says. “Now that may increase the amount of junk mail you get but you know, maybe you want those coupons. Or maybe you could just unsubscribe. Or some people even create a new email address just for offers like that.”

Always have your common sense radar on when shopping online.

“Some prices can be really good if you’re shopping online, but watch out for those deals that are really too good to be true,” Bach says. “We know this to be true that scammers will create fake websites if there’s a hot product.”

Stick with familiar websites.

Make sure the website is secure and has an https://.

Use a credit card over a debit card. Credit cards will offer more protection in case you need to dispute a charge.

Use caution with ads that pop up on your Facebook or Instagram.

“A lot of companies are advertising on social media now. They’re legitimate companies with legitimate offers, but once in awhile you might see something that we call click bait, which is an ad where they use a great deal as the bait to entice you to click on the ad,” Bach says.

“Now what’s going to happen is either you’re going to have malware downloaded to your computer or you’re going to be taken to a site where they’re going to ask you for a bunch of personal information. So you want to be very wary of ads like that. Instead maybe just go to the store’s website without clicking through on the ad to see if you can find the deal that way.”