Holidays is on its way! By the end of the year, the great discounts offered by a lot of shops lead to a huge amount of deals.
Online shopping is now a popular option as shoppers can easily see the price after discount and avoid the crowd in the stores.
Consider Reading LIFARS Cyber security guides:
However, the happiness you gain from online shopping can be destroyed by those online scams. Therefore, FBI has shared 12 cybersecurity tips for secure shopping. These tips are not only for holiday season! You should keep these tips in mind when you do online shopping at anytime.
1. Update and patch your shopping devices for more protection against virus and malware.
2. Stop using public Wi-Fi networks for avoiding the personal data theft online.
3. Watch out for any suspicious payment info like wire transfer or gift card only.
4. Be careful to unbelievable low price as this is the time a lot of counterfeits are being sold.
5. Beware of the websites that you’ve not heard of due to the possible scams that you pay but get nothing.
6. Paying with a credit card is more secure than paying with a debit card.
7. A digital gift card with recovered pin from a trusted merchants is a better choice.
8. Use unique and strong passwords that are hard to guess.
9. In case of charity scams, research on the donations before donating.
10. A deal that is too good to be true probably is social engineering scams.
11. Promising the final chance of buying something could be a trap.
12. Monitor and report bank and card statements for unauthorized transactions.
Among the above-mentioned tips, most of them are useful in daily life rather than just online shopping. Cybercrimes are everywhere. Thus, be a wise shopper and avoid giving your privacy and data to hackers as Christmas gifts!
The IC3 receives a large volume of complaints in the early months of the year, suggesting a correlation with the previous holiday season’s shopping scams.
Always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
Do your part to avoid becoming a victim. These simple tips from the IC3 can help you look out for scammers during the holiday season or any other time of year:
- Always get a tracking number for items purchased online so you can make sure they have been shipped and can follow the delivery process.
- Be wary of sellers who post an auction or advertisement as if they reside in the U.S., then respond to questions by stating they are out of the country on business, family emergency, or similar reasons.
- Avoid sellers who post an auction or advertisement under one name but ask that payment be sent to someone else.
- Consider canceling your purchase if a seller requests funds be wired directly to them via a money transfer company, pre-paid card, or bank-to-bank wire transfer. Money sent in these ways is virtually impossible to recover, with no recourse for the victim. Always remember that anyone who asks you to use one of these forms of payment might be a scammer. A credit card is generally the safest way to pay for an online purchase.
- Avoid sellers who act as authorized dealers or factory representatives of popular items in countries where there would be no such dealers.
- Verify the legitimacy of a buyer or seller before moving forward with a purchase. If you’re using an online marketplace or auction website, check their feedback rating. Be wary of buyers and sellers with mostly unfavorable feedback ratings or no ratings at all.
- Avoid buyers who request their purchase be shipped using a certain method to avoid customs or taxes inside another country.
- Be suspect of any credit card purchases where the address of the cardholder does not match the shipping address. Always receive the cardholder’s authorization before shipping any products.
- Always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
FTC’s tips for happy holiday shopping
Keep your holiday shopping merry and bright with an early gift from the Federal Trade Commission: tips to help you watch your wallet, shop wisely, and protect your personal information.
- Make a list and a budget. Those impulse purchases (looking at you, cozy sweater) are less tempting when you have a game plan. Consider how much you’re willing to put on your credit card, and how long it might take to pay it off. If money’s tight, paying for a gift over time through layaway might help.
- Do your research. Read reviews and recommendations about the product, seller, and warranties from sources you trust. If you’re shopping online, check for reports that items were never delivered or not as advertised. Spreading holiday cheer by donating to charity or a crowdfunding cause? Look into it first to make sure it’s legitimate.
- Look for the best deals. Check out websites that compare prices for items online and at your local stores. Remember there may be shipping costs for online orders. Look for coupon codes by searching the store’s name with terms like “coupons,” “discounts,” or “free shipping.” To save extra money, keep an eye out for rebates.
- Keep track of your purchases. Make sure the scanned price is right, and save all your receipts. If you shop online, keep copies of your order number, the refund and return policies, and shipping costs. Then have your packages delivered to a secure location or pick them up at a local store. Treat gift cards like cash and keep them in safe place.
- Give gifts, not personal information. Protect yourself online by shopping only on secure websites with an “https” address. Stick to shopping apps that tell you what they do with your data and how they keep it secure. Avoid holiday offers that ask you to give financial information – no matter how tempting. They might be trying to steal your identity.