As online shopping becomes more popular, so do scams. Here are some basic tips that’ll help you protect yourself.
The more we shop online, the more sophisticated online scamming becomes, especially when there’s tons of offers and we’re just trying to buy something before someone else takes it.
Despite the crazy vibes that come with the holiday shopping season, it’s important to check everything twice. Scammers work their hardest during this time of year, accurately predicting that people will be more willing to spend their money.
Here are a few basic tips that will help you avoid online shopping scams.
Be extra safe
When buying from stores you don’t normally buy from, be wary of your data. Check through the site’s privacy and security section. Use your credit card over your debit card and don’t store your card information on the site’s database, since this can get hacked. While it’s annoying to have to look for your card every time you want to shop, if you’re buying something from a website that you don’t know all that well it’s best to stay safe.
Watch out for social media based stores
Apps like Instagram have popularized app based shopping, connecting you with stores that seem to contain items that are tailor made for you, but that may not be all that legitimate. While most of the ads that appear on your stories and news feed have some sort of endorsement from the app, it’s always important to look up the store’s website, check for user comments and scroll through their security and return policies.
Make your purchases from home
One of the oldest security recommendations from tech experts is to conduct all of your internet important business from home, while under the protection of your password protected Wi-Fi. While most of the time there’s nothing wrong with using public Wi-Fi, when you’re shopping and entering sensitive information, it’s best to be sure that no one is able to look in.
Don’t trust deals that are too good to be true
Crazy and unrealistic discounts are one of the most basic scamming red flags. While it’s likely that some stores offer great discounts during this time of the year, if the discount is over half of the original price, check that everything looks legitimate before you make your purchase. Compare and contrast prices and look up other shoppers’ comments and input. Trust your instincts and don’t buy the first thing that looks good.