Tips For Avoiding Scams, Fraudulent Charges While Shopping Online

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.

Who can use prepay cards?

Prepay cards are relative newcomers to the financial world. But they can be so useful that anyone looking for plastic, without the worry of running up debt, may wish to consider them. So who can use pre pay cards?

People with all kinds of credit histories

If you have a poor credit rating, prepay cards are typically still available for you to use. This is because no credit is offered on them. Instead, you pay your money onto the card before you spend it, so you do not need to worry about getting a bill or being landed with late payment charges.

Also, credit checks are usually not carried out when you apply for a card.

People of all ages

If you have a teenager who needs to learn about managing their money, a prepaid card could be ideal. You can load as much or as little money as you like onto the facility, and track your child’s spending, typically online or via SMS statements.

Not only will you know how much they are spending, but if the card is used in shops or online, you will know when and where the money is being spent.
As no credit is offered with prepaid cards, your son or daughter does not have to be 18 to have one.

People who want to travel

Pre pay cards can usually be used internationally to withdraw funds in different currencies, so they can come in handy if you are planning to go travelling. Always check with your card provider for details of the exchange rates that they offer, so you know what to expect when you make a withdrawal or purchase abroad.

People who want to manage their money

Some people find it easier to manage their money if they have a prepaid card for different areas of their expenditure. So you could have one for bills, one for household shopping and another for treats. This means that you have all the convenience of having a plastic card – ie not having to carry cash around and being able to buy online and over the phone – without the worry of overspending and attracting interest charges.