Online shopping may be the preferable way of shopping these days. It is easy, convenient, and safer in terms of health risks. That being said, it isn’t as safe as you might think. Fraudulent vendors can pop up out of no where and trick you into thinking you are buying from a regular store. It is important to pay attention to what you are buying online, especially during the holiday season. If you are planning to do your shopping online this holiday season here are a few tips to keep in the back of your mind.
Stick to reputable sources/websites
There are many stores you can access online now, which makes it so much easier for you to shop at your own convenience. If you want to ensure that you are not getting ripped off or getting your information compromised, stick to the stores that you know first. If you are unsure about a store that you found online, ask around to see if anyone has shopped there before you do. This could be helpful and save you some time too.
Go directly to the website
Most companies have online ads throughout every avenue. Ads can be easily used as a distraction when you are scrolling on social media. However, fake vendors are also making ads and placing them through social media. These fake ads can look legitimate and if you were to click on it, it could bring you to an unsecured page and you could be potentially risking your financial information. If you see an ad online that catches your eye, go directly to that company’s website instead of clicking on the ad.
By reading reviews you can save yourself from potentially dishonest vendors. Shoppers are not shy about leaving reviews if they have been ripped off. They will make sure that they put a review up to stop people from buying the products. It is a good habit to check out the reviews before placing the item in your cart. As mentioned above, there are fake vendors out there that can make everything look real. Reading reviews can help you avoid the headache of trying to return an item or get your money back.
Don’t overshare your personal information
Within these fake websites and vendors, the fraudsters will try to sneak more information from you then necessary. The common information that you might have to enter when buying from online stores are the standard – name, mailing and billing address, your card information, and maybe your birthday. Under no circumstances, will a company ask for your Social Security Number, your bank account number, or your online banking credentials. If you see that information being requested, close out of that page immediately.
Keep an eye on your bank account
This is key, especially during the holiday season. The average person is spending more than normal on gifts so there is a lot of bank activity going on in their account. It can be really easy to miss any fraudulent charges if you are not careful. You want to make sure that your receipts match the amount being taken out. Sometimes when people are using unreliable online stores, they could be charged on more than one occasion.
If you are going to online shop, please take your time doing so. By taking an extra couple of minutes to check for legitimacy, you can save yourself time, money, and possible aggravation. There are so many benefits to online shopping that people can get swept away in the convenience of it and could make careless mistakes. Your financial safety is the most important this holiday season. Check twice before you confirm your purchases.
We at Alltrust wish you a happy and safe holiday shopping season.
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