It’s that time of the year where there are commercials, targeted ads, and sales galore! Ordering from a desktop, tablet or mobile phone has begun to topple brick and mortar visits, a Deloitte report even finding that online shopping will make up 63% of holiday spending this year.
With a projected $210 billion in online sales this year just from November to December alone, scammers are eager to get their share. Bad actors are prevalent all year round, but during these several weeks their efforts are ever increasing.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you stay safe while you add to your cart.
While Browsing, Remember:
If a price seems too good to be trueâ€¦it most likely is.
Internet security experts advise that if a discount exceeds 55%, do your due diligence and find some other offers to compare.
Know where you’re shopping.
Scammers will go to extensive lengths to trick unsuspecting shoppers. Take time to explore the website or app you are preparing to purchase from. Make sure that the contact information listed is correct, that the website URL or app name doesn’t have any misplaced or transposed letters, and that it looks and feels legitimate.
Your phone is not immune.
Many people associate scams to desktops. With over 56% of Americans using their smartphones during their holiday shopping journey, it is important to remember that bad actors can work through any sized screen.
Ads don’t always add up.
34% of Americans say that they will be using social media to shop this holiday season. With the rise of shopping through social media, be on the lookout for ads that might seem off. Social media apps also allow users to report ads and define the reason why they are doing so. By taking the time to do this you are helping other users not fall victim to scammers.
Online, Credit is King.
Debit cards do not offer fraud protection while some credit card companies offer zero fraud liability as well as 100% purchase protection.
For some, these tips might seem obvious, and for others they might be new information. Regardless, we hope that this reminder or lesson will help keep you safe as you surf and shop this holiday season.
If you come across or fall victim to a shopping scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).