Today more and more people are looking to the internet to do their shopping. With online stores popping up all over the internet the urge to spend money on the World Wide Web has never been stronger. The unfortunate thing is that the urge for scam artists to take your money has never been stronger. So how do you protect your self from these thieves? If you follow these simple steps I promise you’ll enjoy shopping on the internet more having taken these precautions.
The first thing you should consider when buying online is if the website you are shopping on is secure? These days most retail websites have secure pages where you enter your personal information but that doesn’t mean that all sites are secure. The first step in making sure that your information is secure is to check the address bar and look for “https” this means that you are on a secure page. If the address begins with “http” the page is not secure and your information should not be given. The second step in determining if the website is safe is to look for a picture of a closed lock or an unbroken key. These pictures can be found in the bottom right corner of your browser window. When the lock is open or the key is broken the page is not secure. The last thing to look for is mention of secure certificates or “SSL”. These logos usually appear near the bottom of the screen. If you are still not sure if the website is secure you can always ask them through e-mail (make sure to save the reply just in case).
Credit card fraud is still relatively common. Even with all the security that some of the larger websites have, these con artists are still able to scam some people. So what do you do if you suspect that you have been scammed? The first thing you should do is determine if the charges on your credit card are really unauthorized. This is why you should save all of your receipts. Sometimes when a company makes a charge to your card it might show up on your statement as a charge from a name that you don’t recognize so it is important to check your receipts and confirmation e-mails (the company will usually tell you what the purchase will be charged as in the confirmation) to make sure that the mystery charges aren’t legitimate. Once you are sure that you have been scammed either by the store or by someone that has somehow stolen your credit card information your next step is to contact the credit card company. Some companies such as VISA and MasterCard offer zero liability for fraudulent charges.
Shopping on the internet is more popular than ever and with the flood of internet shoppers comes a wave of con artists. Protect your self from these crooks. Follow the information I have laid out for you and remember to save your receipts, look for secure pages and if that isn’t enough then only buy from well-established websites that you have had good experiences with.