Shopping online seems to be the preferred method when it comes to the holidays, especially for those who have mobility issues or trouble with transportation. Even though shopping online may be the most convenient option, be careful. Below are some tips to keep in mind to keep you and your information safe from scammers this holiday season.
1. Sounds too good to be true? It may be! Do not fall for everything you read on the internet. If the website is not a larger, well-known company website such as Amazon, Target, Macy’s, etc., check the website you're shopping from. If the site isn’t a “trusted” site, it may not be a good idea to enter your credit card information while checking out. Sometimes a site may be designed to look very similar to a well-known retailer website, so be sure to double check the spelling of the URL to make sure you’re accessing the correct site.
The holidays are a popular time for scammers. If you get an email explaining how you have won something of high value at a very low price and sounding too good to be true, chances are it is. Scammers can sometimes send you emails to get you to click and enter your credit card information just to have access to your information. Also, make sure to NEVER enter your social security number online.
2. Always check your bank/credit card statements. Be sure to check your bank and credit card statements pretty frequently, if not more than usual during the holiday season to ensure that there is no unusual activity. In the event there is, contact your bank immediately.
3. Read the fine print. Always make sure to check the fine print when buying something. Additional fees, shipping, taxes and even the return policy are listed here.
4. When creating accounts, use strong and unique passwords. It may seem like a nuisance, but creating unique passwords that are different from any of the other accounts you hold is highly recommended. Doing this will help prevent hackers of accessing your personal information.
5. Check for coupons. Before checking out, take a look online to see if there are any coupons floating around. Reputable sites like CouponCabin and RetailMeNot usually search for coupons digitally and consolidate them all in one place. It’s a great way to save some cash!
6. Sign up for store newsletters. When you access a big retailer website, sometimes they’ll have a window that pops up on their site asking you to sign up for their newsletter. A discount is usually tied to those newsletters, so take advantage.