1. SHOP WITH REPUTABLE RETAILERS.
Bookmark your favorite shopping sites. When you receive a promotional email or sale notice, instead of clicking the link in the email, directly visit the retailer’s site and search for the sale. Some scammers will mimic an email address of retailers.
2. VET OUT NEW-TO-YOU ONLINE RETAILERS.
Have you been served ads for products and services on your social fees that seem tailored just to what you’re looking for? Before you click an unknown business, do your research. Search the business online, look them up on Better Business Bureau. (bbb.org). Still not sure, click “CONTACT US” on their website and then call to verify. Two new retailers becoming popular are TEMU & SHEIN. Both have been found to be legit companies but boast C-plus ratings with BBB due to delivery issues and poor-quality goods. The low prices typically mean you get what you pay for.
3. BEWARE OF AMAZING DEALS.
Did you a deal that simply seems too good to be true? Chances are, it probably is. Many offers with drastically reduced prices are often a trap by scammers to collect your payment information. Once again, don’t click links, just do your research before you buy.
4. DON'T SHOP OR BROWSE ON PUBLIC WIFI.
Public WIFI networks have weak security and gaping holes for a hacker sitting right next to you at the coffee shop to obtain your info. If you must browse in public, stay on your device data network, access a VPN if you have one, or simply wait until you get home to your own password secured WIFI network.
5. KEEP YOUR PASSWORD GAME STRONG.
Especially if you have favorite online shopping sites with stored payment methods. Keep your passwords complex and difficult to guess. Change them frequently, good rule of thumb is to change them up every 90 days. And do not use the same password across multiple sites.
6. CHECK THE WEBSITE'S SECURITY.
Look for a lock icon in the browser bar. Also, the URL should start with “https” rather than just “http”. Also, another great check is to type in the website for a retailer, scroll to the Contact Us and then call the company to check on it's true legitimacy.
7. DON'T FALL FOR TEXT OR EMAIL SCAMS.
Do not open attachments or click links sent to you. Do not fall for the emails that state there is a problem with your delivery. If you ordered something recently and get an email like that, visit the website directly and check your order history for any issues. If there are any, they will be posted.
8. PAY WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD - NOT YOUR DEBIT CARD.
Credit cards to not give scammers direct access to your money in your bank account. Additionally, most credit cards offer zero liability for fraud. PRO TIP – use a VIRTUAL credit card, which offers you a temporary credit card number to shop online and you can set a custom expiration date. If a scammer gets ahold of a virtual card number and later tries to use it, it won’t be a valid number anymore.