7 Tips to Avoid Online Shopping Scams

Stay safe and avoid fraud while shopping online.

Staying safe shopping online.

Your chance of encountering online fraud increases the more you shop online. While it’s very convenient to shop online, it’s always important to protect yourself while doing so. Here are seven ways to prevent, identify, and fight online scammers while you shop online.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card

Credit cards offer increased security while shopping online compared to debit cards. One reason is credit cards aren’t tied directly to your bank accounts like a debit card. If someone were to steal your debit card information then they have an easier way to quickly access your bank accounts. Also, EMV Chip technology in payment cards makes it harder for scammers to steal your information.

Check out as a guest

Online checkouts often ask you to register for an account. When you create an account, the website can store your information on the websites’ internal server, like your email and purchasing information. If by chance that company experiences a data breach, then your information saved by that retailer could be at risk. Instead, choose to check out as a guest because it eliminates the possibility of your information being hacked through a data breach. If reward points and perks are important to you, then consider the risks of creating an account with the online retailer.

Watch out for Good Price Scams

Shopping online means trying to find the best price possible, but sometimes that price is too good to be true. Online scammers lure customers with popular items at discounted prices. Often the customer believes they’ve founds a great deal, when really they are giving a fraudster their payment information. If a price seems too good to be true then make sure to check the accuracy of the website, including the URL, product description, and checkout details.

Change your password for every account

Once an online scammer figures out one of your online passwords, then they can easily try it on all of your online accounts. If you have one password for every account then you just gave the scammer free access to all of your information. Using different passwords prevents you from falling victim to these practices. Don’t worry if you have a hard time remembering all of your passwords. Most retailers now have that capability to instantly verify your identity so you can quickly reset your password each time you sign in.

Use automatic alerts to monitor your accounts

Your debit and credit card is most likely equipped with alert options. Set different alerts that quickly you quickly via text message or email once flagged activity is detected. There are many alerts to choose from, including transaction amounts, location of purchases, and even the frequency of charges. To learn more about Jefferson Bank’s automatic alerts, check out our personal account and card alerts available through Online Banking.

Research websites, even familiar ones

It’s always best to take time and research a website before hitting the button to finalize your purchase. Scammers often create websites that are identical to popular online retailer websites. Their goal is to confuse you and steal your private information. An easy way to detect a fake website is to do a quick search online. It’s likely someone else encountered the some website and wrote a review about their experience.

Use credit monitoring and fraud detection technology

There are several products on the market, including some checking accounts that come equipped with tools to check if your credit score was changed due to identity theft. Ideally you should look for a product, like MaxMoney® Checking, which better helps protect you with daily Credit File Monitoring¹ that provides you with automated alerts of key changes to your credit reports. MaxMoney® checking also offers a dedicated resource to manage your case until your identity is restored should you become a victim of identity fraud.

As always, we’re here to help. If you believe you’ve fallen victim to online fraud, then please contact us at (573) 634-0888. We take your security seriously, and will investigate immediately.

¹Registration/activation required. Credit file monitoring may take several days to begin following activation.

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.