As the holidays are approaching, many of us must be thinking about making several purchases. Thanks to the e-commerce revolution, this is easier than ever. While purchasing things online has made our lives hassle-free and easy, it has also exposed us to many problems relating to financial security and online retailers. For bad actors, the holidays are an opportunity for online theft and huge profits.
There are a number of bogus shopping websites run by fraudulent people aiming to steal your account or credit card details. If you are planning to shop online this year, identifying a safe vendor is the key to protecting your money.
Protection while Shopping Online for Holidays
Do Not Share Unnecessary Information
Always remember that when shopping online, there is no need to disclose all of your personal information. If an online vendor asks too much information, take this as a red flag and look somewhere else. No shopping website should require a social security number or your personal details to sell you a product. When entering your credit part, look for verification that the webpage is secure. This is usually visible right in your browser’s address bar next to the website URL.
Use Secure Websites
This is one of the most important steps to avoid online scams. Always choose reliable and reputed retailers like Amazon or eBay. Doing business with anyone on the web you do not know may lead to a great loss. As a rule of thumb, if neither you nor any of your friends have heard of a website, you should be cautious about shopping there.
Use Your Credit Cards
As a holiday shopper, you are usually offered liability protection on using your credit cards. This is because if someone illegally uses your credit card, according to federal regulations, you do not have to pay until the matter is investigated. That means your liability is capped if you report the matter involving unauthorized charges within two days. Using your credit card for online shopping is a wise idea.
Use a Password to Secure Your Account
This can be a great way to secure yourself from any online scam; however, just creating a password for your online account is not enough. You have to be proactive by locking your account with a strong password. Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Never use your personal information that can be guessed easily such as your kid’s name, birthdays or favorite color
- Always use a complex combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers
Avoid Phishing Scams
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information relating to your account or credit card. You may find an email full of exciting discount offers, particularly in the holiday season. Never click on emails sent by an unknown sender that promise special offers. They may infect your device with malware or a virus.
Do Not Use Public Wi-Fi
There is no doubt that public Wi-Fi at malls, café or restaurants seems very tempting, but it can create serious issues for you. Anyone can easily intercept or monitor traffic between your device and websites and take advantage of the personal information you have used for online shopping.
Benefits of Buying from a Trusted/Secure website like LEGO
Authorized Brand Supplies
Lego leads by example when it comes to maintaining credibility for authorizing brand supplies. Trusted websites like Lego provide money back guarantee on its online items. From 1999, LEGO is working as one of the leading manufacturing toy company.
The company will soon become the global leader by partnering with different industries. It is one of the best online portals to buy toys as the company follows strict policies to indicate brand loyalty.
Follow Authorized Policies
It is another reason why you should always shop from a website that follows authorized policies. These shopping websites do not allow the use of copyright material including their logos and trademarks for any other commercial purpose.
Following authorized policies, trusted websites like Lego, provide reliable online services to their customers.
Signs to Check if Holiday Websites Targeting Children are Authentic
There are a plethora of websites selling toys, tools, and stationery for children. If it is the holiday season, seeing new ads or emails with exciting offers on children wear is not unusual. There is no harm in shopping online for your kids as long as you know how to identify fake websites.
This is a very first step and also the simplest way to spot a fraudulent website. Check URL carefully. Typically, you will find a replaced or missing letter within the suspected URL.
Most fraudulent websites attempt to copy the designs of reputable brands in order to look like the original. If you find one similar to a popular brand, avoid buying from it.
Unclear Refund Policy
Always be vigilant when it comes to a website’s checking refund policy. If you find items without any clear warranty, the website shouldn’t be trusted.
We always look for a website that offers low prices with unbelievable discounts. However, you should be vigilant instead of immediately placing an order . If prices are better than usual market offers, there is something wrong.
Vague Contact Information
This is one of the clear signs to look for. Never place an order until you double check the contact information by calling the company’s service center.
If you find vague contact information such as phone number with more or fewer digits or address (you are not familiar with), avoid purchasing from that website.
Checking WHOIS records is very useful if you want to look up key data including IP address and a domain name of the fraudulent website. It allows you to contact the owner of the website.
The Bottom Line
All in all, the holiday period is a festive season and shopping online has become very common. That is why it is essential to know how you can identify fake websites. Thus, the aforementioned tips will help you shop online happily and safely.