From food delivery to job applications, many services are available online, but the quality of services may diminish if completed online rather than in person. Some companies are offering medical services online, including eye and hearing exams, potentially decreasing the accuracy of the services, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.


“Arkansans should take advantage of advances in technology often to make our busy lives easier,” Rutledge said. “But we should all do our due diligence to research companies and apps to ensure that the services are accurate, effective and legitimate.”


Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who decide to pay for services online:


• Check the site’s privacy policy before providing any personal financial information and determine how the information will be used or shared with others. Also, check the site’s statements about the security provided for the information. Some websites’ disclosures are easier to find than others — look at the bottom of the home page, on order forms or in the “About” or “FAQs” section of a site.


• Pay by credit card, the most secure way. Under federal law, customers can dispute the charges if they don’t get what they were promised. They may also dispute unauthorized charges on their credit card. Many credit card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which customers pay nothing if someone steals and uses the credit card.


• Keep personal information private. Don’t disclose personal information – address, telephone number, Social Security number, bank account number or email address – unless you know who is collecting the information, why they are collecting it and how they will use it.


• Review monthly credit card and bank statements for any errors or unauthorized purchases promptly and thoroughly. Notify your credit or debit card issuer immediately if your credit or debit card or checkbook is lost or stolen, or if you suspect someone is using your accounts without your permission.


Rutledge encourages Arkansans to check a business’s status with the Attorney General’s Office or the Better Business Bureau to ensure its legitimacy.


For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.