I am afraid of online shopping fraud

You hear horror stories of people getting ripped off online or worse yet, having their identity stolen due to an online transaction.

Here are some ideas from TurnersTips about how to protect yourself. If you have an experience you would like to share or a idea to add, then please contact us.

  • Use your home computer when shopping online. Equip this computer with the latest web browser and have a good anti-virus and spy ware program. This is much safer then using a computer at an Internet cafe or the local library.
  • Check the connection. If you have a secure connection you should not see an open padlock or broken key symbol on your Internet connection browser. If you see one of these symbols then you should not be entering any financial information because you are not on a secure site. Someone else could intercept your information. Always verify that you have a secure connection.
  • When you are going to a site to shop then go there directly by typing in the email address. Do not click on an email address that is linked on a message. It doesn't matter if you know the person who sent you the message, manually type that address in.
  • Do you use a third-party payment company such as Pay Pal? This is something to consider. You could also have a low limit credit card that you use for your online transactions. If something does happen then you will limit your losses.
  • Buyer beware! If you are browsing auction sites or unauthorized retail sites then be careful of the too good to be true sales. If it is a true designer item or highly popular electronic device then a huge drop in price is not likely. Be aware that there are a lot of people out there prepared to pay close to full price for the real item so what you are looking at is likely a fake.
  • Your emails are not private. Others can intercept your email. Do not send financial, personal or confidential information by email.
  • Check your statements. Your bank statement can be viewed immediately, you do not have to wait for a print out at the end of the month. The same can be said for credit card transactions.

If you have purchased home or renters insurance then you could have identity theft coverage. Do talk to your agent or broker about what your coverage will do for you to help you restore your good name and cover legal costs.