Though shopping online can make some people nervous, the reality is that it is safe as long as you exercise caution. Even if you’re a victim of online fraud, there are several options for you to get your money back. By knowing where to shop, keeping an eye on your financial records and using common sense, you can make it unlikely you’ll ever be a victim of fraudulent activity.
Check your bank account records and statements regularly
The best way to keep yourself safe while shopping online is simply by checking your bank account records and other statements. Paying by debit or credit card has an advantage: The time your purchase was made as well as the company responsible for the goods or services you purchased and the amount of the charge will be recorded.
Notify your bank or credit card company of fraud as soon as you see suspicious activity.
If you notice charges on your account that you didn’t make, notify your bank or credit card company immediately. By ensuring you report possible fraud quickly, you won’t be liable for it. The Federal Trade Commission also states on its website that you should “call [your] card issuer as soon as you realize your card has been lost or stolen.”
Don’t shop at websites that look suspicious.
You can take steps to stop card fraud before it occurs by making sure the website you are using for your shopping is reputable. Obvious red flags include an attempt to install malware or being bombarded with unexpected pop-up windows. An unusual URL or Web page content that looks unprofessional is also indicative of sites to stay away from. Close your browser immediately if you think a site you’re on is not legitimate. You can also do a search for the name of the site in question and look for company reviews.
Never disclose personal information using methods that aren’t secure.
Legitimate companies will never ask you to share your personal information via email, including your social security number and account or credit card numbers. Stay safe by not disclosing this information to anyone, even those you trust. If you see an email seemingly from a company you’re doing business with that looks suspicious, notify that company about it.
Shop on websites that are secure.
Finally, give preference to websites that use the latest technology to keep your shopping secure. One way you can do this is by checking your URL and making sure that “https” shows up at the beginning when you enter your credit card information instead of “http.” Some websites display logos of security or trusted site certifications near the bottom.
Shopping online is generally safe and can introduce you to a whole new world of goods and convenience. You’ll have nothing to worry about if you shop at reputable sites and pay attention to your financial statements. Remember, even if you do encounter fraudulent activity, your bank or credit card issuer should work with you to ensure it is resolved.
Post Author: andyc.