Don’t Fall Victim to an Online Scam
The internet has made it incredibly easy for us to work, shop, and bank online. While we can purchase anything from groceries and gifts, it’s worth being cautious when shopping online. Hackers are becoming smarter as they stay up to date with the latest internet buying trends. To avoid falling victim to an online scam, here are some tips to follow.
- Shop on reputable sites
Don’t shop on sites you’ve never heard of and if you’re not sure if a site is reputable, search online for reviews. More often than not, other people will have posted if a site doesn’t deliver what it promises.
- Don’t click on suspicious links
Many scammers are experts at creating emails that look like they come from your favorite retailers. It’s called phishing. Be careful before clicking on links that you’re unsure of, especially if the email comes from an unsolicited source. These emails often have poor grammar or incorrect spelling so look closely — it’s a dead giveaway.
- Shop on secure sites
Shop on sites that have “https” and a padlock symbol in the URL instead of sites that just have “http.” “Https” sites are secure whereas “http” sites are vulnerable to attacks and make it easier for hackers to steal your credit card information.
- Create unique logins
When you’re shopping on a site, you must create a username and password. To be extra careful, use a unique password on each site.
- Shop on a merchant’s native site or app
A lot of people are shopping on their phones these days and hackers know it so they create fake websites and apps to try and trick consumers — and it’s easier to pull off on mobile devices because you can’t see the full URL. Don’t fall for it. Type in the URL of the retailer you’re looking for and only download apps from official app stores like Apple or Google. Be wary of any merchant asking for access to your contacts, messages, passwords or credit card information.
- Take screenshots and keep receipts
Once you’ve made a purchase, take a screenshot of the confirmation screen that shows you’ve completed the transaction. Keep this on file in the event that you run into any problems with your order to prove that you made and paid for your purchase.
- If it seems too good to be true…
It probably is. Beware of deals that just seem impossibly good.