Having access to the internet means you have access to purchasing items online all over the world with a click of a button. While convenient and easy, it became a way of life for people when Covid-19 hit, and everyone had to “shelter in place.” Online shopping revenue is continuing to soar but be wary of clicking on any website you see that is offering a great deal. Before sharing your personal information and financial information on any website, you need to take precautionary measures to protect yourself from malicious sites.
Ways You Can Minimize the Risk of Being Scammed When Online Shopping, but Not Limited to:
There are ways you can reduce the likelihood of being victimized by an online scammer. Below are some crucial considerations to look for:
Investigate the Sight- When searching for a particular item, you may click on several sites, but be careful of handing over all your personal information so quickly. If you are the least bit concerned, do your homework. Research the site and read the reviews to see if there are disgruntled or unsatisfied customers who paid for something and never got it or received the item unsatisfied.
Check the URL- Keep in mind that scammers are well versed on how to make a fake site look real, even down to the smallest details; therefore, if you are unsure whether a site is legitimate, you can check the URL. Make sure the site is “HTTPS” and not just “HTTP”. The “S” signifies security and that all information given (credit card number, address, and name) is encrypted for your security.
Use the Safety-Check Tool- This is a simple tool to address whether a site is safe or malicious. All you need to do is type the URL into Google’s transparency report and it will specify information and data about that site.
Utilize the Browsers Security Built-In Security- Go to the privacy settings of your browser and make sure you have “Do Not Track” option selected, along with blocking pop-up ads.
Be Cautious About Cheap Prices- You may have run across this situation. You may find the item you desperately want on most sites for approximately the same cost, but you decide to browse for a cheaper price only to get scammed. Watch out for sites claiming to give you the best product at the lowest price. Chances are, you either won’t get the product at all or the “original” item you thought you were purchasing for that great price ends up being a “fake.”
Beware of Overseas Sellers- It’s unfair to assume all overseas sellers are scammers; however, you need to be careful about sellers that have very limited information about their address, return policy, phone number, or their business.
Practice Safer Shopping and Protect Your Identity
During this holiday season and throughout the year, its essential to take precautionary measures when shopping online; otherwise, you could be risking your identity. Remain vigilant when shopping online to decrease the likelihood of giving out your personal and financial date to potential scammers. If you have any questions or concerns about identity theft or additional ways to avoid online scams, call our offices at Cameron Group Insurance and we will assist you with all your needs.