Online shopping is a convenient, simple and quick way to purchase items from websites. As with anything you do online, any time you provide details like your email address, shipping address, phone number and credit card information, your information becomes prey for cyber criminals.
- Becoming a victim of fake e-commerce sites. These are sites created with the sole purpose of capturing your information which can lead to identity theft and hacking. Often these sites will offer an incredible deal that’s hard to pass up, and then disappear a few weeks later.
- Becoming a victim of a scam or fraud by unscrupulous sellers who never send the item you’ve purchased.
- Dealing with fraudulent escrow sites set up to capture your information.
- Doing business on sites that aren’t encrypted which can leave your information open to anyone.
- Scams by international sites that aren’t secure or don’t have reputable sellers.
- Paying more than you expected because of hidden charges, duties or shipping.
- Getting lured by sellers to send payment outside of legitimate services like Paypal, including sending cash, money transfers and money orders.
- Getting stuck by browser traps that won’t allow you to click the back button, or the same window continues to pop up after closing it.
- Be on the lookout for prices that are too good to be true. They’re likely counterfeits items or fraudulent websites.
- Use safe payment options such as credit cards, which have a limit on charges and a recovery process for fraudulent activity.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi to shop online.
- Keep a paper trail – print or keep copies of all records of online transactions including any correspondence with the seller.
- Read your credit card statements and check for unauthorized charges.
- Stick to more reputable sites and avoid sites that look poorly designed, appear unprofessional or contain broken links.
- Always look for the “lock” icon and an “https://” connection to be sure you have a safe connection.