Top 10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping
Online shopping companies have significantly increased today and shoppers are becoming more dependent and enjoying the convenience of shopping online. With the influx of this type of business, scammers have also found ways of stealing and making fraudulent transactions just to gain your trust and get your money. If you follow these top 10 tips for safe online shopping, you will get away with these thieves and keep your money safe.
Do Not Hand Over Valuable Bank or Card Information Easily
Your PIN or Personal Identification Number is meant to be personal information. If you make online transactions, a legitimate online company will never ask for your PIN. If you receive suspicious emails asking for your bank account or credit card information, beware. These are Phishing scammers and you might end up losing your money and even future transactions.
Never Wire Money through Moneygram or Western Union
MoneyGram and Western Union offers their services to wiring money to people that you know. If the company you are shopping with online is legitimate, they will not ask you to wire money through these companies. Scammers are able to pick up your money anywhere by using a fake I.D. and disappear. The best way is to pay through a credit card or debit card.
Only Use a Protected Computer
When shopping online, you need to use a computer to access the company and make your transactions. As much as possible, avoid using public computers or if not, use computers from reliable internet cafés. Sometimes, your information may be stored and may be visible to other users and they might use your information for their own consumption. Check also that your personal computer has up-to-date antivirus software or firewall installed.
Never Buy From New Websites
Be extra careful when buying online from new companies, unless you have knowledge about the company or you already know its reputation. If you want to check for the age of the website, go to the WHOIS database and search for the registration details of the domain. You can also Google the site and check for reviews and positive feedbacks from customers. A good site will return more than 3,000 hits and you are good to go.
Always Check Your Statements
As soon as you receive your monthly statements, read them and check every transaction. When you find a transaction that you do not know about, contact your credit card company right away. Make sure to shred documents that have your financial information and keep your bank or card statements in a confidential box.
Only Enter Your Card Information in a Secure Server
Another tip for safe online shopping is to check if the address of the webpage is secure. Make sure it begins with http:// or https://. Be cautious. Some online companies may give you a web page with an http:// on their address but as you go on to enter your payment details, the webpage may not start with http:// anymore. Leave the site and do not proceed with the rest of the process. Before you enter your card details, check that the page is secure which all legitimate sites do.
Get an Internet-Only Card
To monitor your Internet transactions, try asking your credit card company for a separate credit card account specifically for online transactions. They will be happy to provide you and will offer you extra consumer protection in cases of fraud and theft. It is also helpful because you will be able to trace your transactions right away and not be confused with over-the-counter transactions.
Never Buy From a Poorly Managed Site
If the sales page has poor grammar, spelling or syntax, it is a turn off for customers. Even if the site is legitimate, you do not want to buy from that site. If they are not able to spell the digital storefront correctly, then they are not professional enough, and it is difficult to deal with unprofessional entities, especially when it involves your money. A legitimate website must also provide adequate contact details, which include postal address, phone number, appropriate email address. Scammers will use free web based emails while legitimate companies will use their POP3 domain email address (contact@our_company.com). Another thing is to check for a professionally designed website. Scammers may lack experience in website designing and management. Be vigilant to check for a poorly designed website, inadequate contact details and spelling errors.
Print Out Your Order
After you shop online, you will receive an email of the recent purchase and be sure to get a hard copy of your order form and the retailer’s terms and conditions. Even though overseas buying may have difficulties with addressing issues and concerns, your bank or card company may be able to help you if you have the relevant and adequate information needed.
Stick to the Famous Brands
If you are new to online shopping, you might want to stick to official websites from manufacturers, such as Sony, Dell, or Samsung websites. You can also purchase items at shop websites like PCWorld, Walmart or Debenhams. Buy items at famous and reputed buy and sell sites such as eBay.com, Amazon.com or Buy.com. A bonus when shopping from these sites is that you will have competitive price offers, more choices and you have plenty of buyer protection.
Shopping online is a convenient way of buying clothes, gadgets, groceries and even medicines right at the comfort of your homes. With the increasing number of online sellers, both legitimate and fraud, you as a consumer and shopper must practice extra caution and online security to protect yourself and your money from going into waste. If you follow these top 10 tips and more for safe online shopping, you will enjoy your online shopping experience and get the most benefits out of it.