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Colorado Credit Union

Online Shopping Safety

Computer keyboard with Fraud written on a keyPublish date: 6/16/2021

Knowing common online scams is crucial to lowering possibilities and protecting oneself against fraud. 

Common online shopping scams include fake websites or apps, websites or messages containing redirected links that offer a “prize” or other offer to trick you into clicking or giving out personal information. Phishing, often impersonating a real company, is another type of fraud that includes text messages and emails claiming a required action on the receiver’s end. These online scams are an attempt to reveal personal information or download malicious files onto your computer.

Below are ten basic tips to help you avoid falling victim to online fraud while shopping:

  1. Never shop online from a site that doesn’t have SSL encryption installed. Look for URLs that start with HTTPS – not just HTTP. Look for the padlock icon before the URL as this is an indication that the site is secure.
  2. Use secure payment methods, such as credit cards, digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal. Credit cards use online security features like encryption and fraud monitoring to keep your accounts and personal information safe.
  3. Strong passwords with capital letters, multiple characters and special characters make it more difficult for a hacker to discover your password. Changing passwords frequently and having separate passwords is crucial to protect your accounts and personal information.
  4. Be aware of common scams and tricks. Stay educated and do your research by looking at reviews and reading descriptions when shopping online.
  5. A secure website could direct you to the app. If using the application store, check app reviews and release dates to confirm that it is not phony.
  6. Download anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.
  7. Give out the least amount of personal information possible. Birthdays, social security information, etc. should never be required to make purchases.
  8. Check online or mobile banking and statements regularly. Look for any suspicious activity.
  9. Do not shop on public internet servers.
  10. Watch out for anyone looking over your shoulder when entering in personal or credit card information.