Online Shopping

As more of us turn to the Internet to do our shopping so do the fraudsters with their scams. Wesuggest that you follow some simple steps to protect yourself while shopping online.

If you are not sure, do not share.

Anyone can set up a website these days and fraudsters have become skilled at spoofing sites so be sure you are familiar with the retailer’s site before you give them any of your financial information. 

Is the site secure?

Look for the ‘s’ in https:// and a small padlock at the bottom of the screen before entering any payment information.

Know the terms of your purchase.

Can the product be returned and if so, who pays the shipping fees? How long will the product take to ship? What does shipping cost? Read the fine print. If it is not clear or you have concerns, make the purchase elsewhere.

Consider payment options.

There are a variety of ways to pay for online purchases. Select and use a designated credit card or reloadable pre-paid debit card to help track your online purchases while minimizing your expsoure, or consider using an online payment service such as PayPal or other reputable provider when making purchases from lesser-known online retailers. Most importantly, review your transactions and account statements frequently to ensure you have been charged the correct amount for your purchases.

Print and Save.

Be sure to print and save the transaction receipt, the order number, a customer service phone number, and any other information you can just in case there is a problem with your order.

Check the privacy policy.

Find out what they are doing with your information by reading the privacy policy. If it is too complicated to read or they do not have one, choose to do business with a more consumer friendly website.

TMI. Do not divulge too much information to anyone on the Internet. If a website is asking for your social security number or driver’s license number, do not share it.

Know your rights.

If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov, report it to the Better Business Bureau, and carefully monitor your bank accounts and credit reports. Visit our Reporting Suspicious Activity section for more information.