Many Americans have turned to online shopping in recent years. This option provides convenience and some good deals on holiday gifts. However, there are ways that people can be scammed and incur fraudulent charges while shopping online. This could potentially force families to dip into their emergency funds.
Here are some tips on how to stay safe while shopping online, according to U.S. News, Solidcashsolutions Llc. Bad Credit Loans & World Report.
Avoid Fishy-Looking Websites
Although it may be difficult to spot a website that isn’t legitimate, there are some red flags to look for. Some warning signs are poor design, a strange web address and multiple pop-up windows that don’t close. As soon as these signs are apparent, people should stop shopping and close the website and browser immediately to avoid any scams or fraudulent charges.
Only Shop On Secure Sites
Another way to avoid online shopping scams is to only shop on secured websites. When looking at the page’s web address, make sure it has “https” and not just “http.” The extras “s” at the end lets you know that web page is secure and safe to shop on.
Use Automatic Identity-Theft Protection On Your Credit Card
Using cash or a debit card when holiday shopping may be a better financial decision. But using a credit card allows people to take advantage of the automatic identity-theft protecting that comes with many cards. After shopping, any charges that the person did not cause themselves can be challenged and investigated by the credit card company.
Credit card companies are required to allow consumers to challenge transactions. There is a time limit on when a transaction can be challenged, though. This means that people should check their statements periodically.
Avoid Sites That Make You Act Quickly
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, consumers should avoid any sites that ask them to act quickly to make a purchase. In all likelihood, this means that the website is a scam. Many fraudulent sites create a sense of urgency to make consumers act impulsively.
Check Seller’s Ratings On Online Auction Sites
Before committing to purchase something on an online auction site consumers should check the seller’s ratings and feedback. This will give them a good idea as to whether or not the seller is legitimate.