The Holiday season is here! Like millions of Americans, you are probably planning to buy many of your holiday gifts online. The internet has made shopping easy, affordable and convenient – without even having to leave your home (or pajamas).
Unfortunately, this has caught the attention of cyber-criminals who are keen to exploit individuals benefiting from these conveniences.
To help protect yourself from identity theft, fraud, and other scams, consider some of these tips for a safer shopping experience:
- Read reviews and recommendations to see how the product performs — or people’s experience with an online seller. But remember to consider the source.
- Check the terms of the deal when buying online — including delivery dates and refund policies. Will it arrive in time? And, if it’s not what you thought, can you send it back?
- Be aware that shopping apps can collect a lot of personal information. Look for apps that tell you what they do with your data, and how they keep it secure.
- Save receipts. When you’re shopping online, keep copies of your order number, the refund and return policies, shipping costs and warranties.
- Have packages delivered to a secure location. If you won’t be home, have them delivered to work, or see if a neighbor can be on the look-out for deliveries.
- Check out DBO’s Protect Yourself From Fraud booklet: http://www.dbo.ca.gov/Consumers/SAIF/Pubs/Protect_Yourself_From_Fraud(2014)English.pdf
Read more from the FTC’s Consumer Information blog: