Fraud and Shopping Online

The holidays are coming. Are you protected while shopping online?

It’s holiday shopping season. If you’re like millions of other shoppers, you like to do your shopping online, however, online shopping also comes with risk.

Here are some tips to help protect you while shopping online.

  • Secure your mobile device and computer. Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date.
  • Use strong passwords. If you need to create an account, use a strong password, and use a unique password for each site.
  • Do not use public computers or public wireless networks for your online shopping. Criminals may be intercepting traffic on public wireless networks to steal credit card numbers and other confidential information.
  • Pay by credit card, not debit card. Credit cards are covered by the Fair Credit Billing Act, which may limit your liability if your information is used improperly. Check your statements regularly.
  • Limit your online shopping to merchants you know and trust. If you have questions about a merchant, check with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. Confirm the online seller’s address and phone number.
  • Look for “https” when making an online purchase. The “s” in “https” stands for “secure.”
  • Do not respond to pop-ups. When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for answering a question or taking a survey, close it by pressing Control + F4 for Windows and Command + W for Macs.
  • Hover over links in emails before clicking on them to verify where you’re being directed. If you question the validity of an email, contact the source directly.
  • Do not auto-save your personal information. t is always safest to opt out of auto-save and enter in your information manually every time.
  • Don’t ever give your financial or personal information by email or text. Information on many current scams can be found on the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  • Review privacy policies. Know what information the merchant is collecting about you, how it will be stored, how it will be used, and if it will be shared with others.
  • Keep all receipts and documents. Make sure you print out a copy of the receipt once you have finished your purchase.