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6 Essential Tips on How to Prevent Online Shopping Fraud

February 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Dear readers and followers, I would first like to wish you a very Happy New Year, good health and great personal and professional accomplishments.
As some of you have already purchased products/services online (and I would like to invite you to share your experience with us) and some others will have at a some point, I am featuring today Israel Defeo as guest blogger on this common topic: Online shopping.

Shopping online is easy. You get what you want in a matter of seconds. Just input your credit card information and voila, that book or jacket or bag is already on its way to you within 24 hours.

This is why more shoppers are switching to e-stores and e-transactions—e-payments, e-banking—are fast becoming the norm. Convenience is the ultimate game-changer. Plenty of online shops, too, offer discounts and freebies like free delivery or free shipping.
However, the rise in e-transactions has also made online fraud possible. To prevent online shopping fraud from happening to you, here are some easy tips you can follow:

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1. Keep your credit details a secret.

Like the famous quote said, “There are things better left unsaid.” That may be true especially if it’s about your credit, debit or other essential information that need to be kept secret.

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2. Use caution when using your devices for online shopping.

Because it’s more convenient to shop online using smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices with internet access, more consumers prefer to use these gadgets than computers and laptops—which are more secure. Beware of using your handheld devices for transactions that carry your personal and credit card information. In case your device is misplaced or lost, you’re at risk of falling victim to fraudsters and scammers who can extract your private information through the lost device.

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3. Beware of phishing websites.

Have you ever seen items on some websites offered at very low prices? Though it can be tempting to purchase low-priced bargain items, it can also come at great risk to the safety of your credit and personal details.
There are internet criminals who create phishing or fraudulent websites which trick you into signing up and disclosing your private information. Some of these websites duplicate the content and design of legitimate ones to fool shoppers like you into revealing their credit card details. At this point, it may be better for you to let common sense—or your gut feel—rule. If you feel like the price is unbelievable or a deal sounds too good to be true, chances are, it is. Stay away from fishy-looking sites as much as possible to keep from being a victim of identity theft.

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4. Verify if the website is legitimate or not.

Remember, Google is your friend. This search engine can help you find any information you need to get your hands on. Search for the name of the website and see if there’s anything involving “scam” or “fraud” mentioned in blogs, forums or other online sources.

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5. Don’t click hyperlinks from random emails.

You probably received not just one, not just two, but more emails about offers and discounts about a product or service in your email. Be mindful of clicking links attached to those messages because it may redirect you to fraudulent websites or phishing sites. Also beware of attachments you receive from untrusted sources. These may contain viruses and malwares that may not just harm your electronic devices, but can also swipe information from your units.
Sometimes, web mail servers can filter unreliable messages and put these messages in the Spam folder of your email. So make sure this feature is enabled in your settings.

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6. Beware of bogus sellers lurking in social media sites

Social media sites are also used by small-scale entrepreneurs to market their products and promote their services to a wider audience. It has been an advantage to both sellers and buyers because Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms can be used for easy communication, placing orders, and completing transactions because it allows real-time responses.
However, scammers can easily post photos and create bogus accounts about bogus products or services. So be mindful of the sellers you buy from. If they cannot ship or send the product they promised after a transaction, you may have already been scammed. To avoid this fate, make sure to call up the seller before you even buy anything. If you smell or hear something fishy or that makes your antennae quiver in suspicion, go and search for another seller until you find one you can trust.

So be careful whenever you use your credit card. Follow the tips mentioned above to help you make sure your credit card and credit information are both safe—and to keep online fraud from happening to you.

This guest post is written by Israel Defeo. He is the writer and online promoter of the leading financial comparison website in Hong Kong, Money Hero. The online portal presents up-to-date and unbiased information about insurance companies, credit cards, loans, deposit accounts and broadband and mobile plans.

Any questions can be submitted to: dan@e-crimeexpert.com
Additional information can be found at: http://www.e-crimeexppert.com
To find out more about Dan Manolescu, visit his LinkedIn page here.
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