Online shopping safety tips

November 8, 2021
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Original author Canada Post.

Make your online shopping more secure – these six tips can help protect you against fraud.

Shopping online is easier and more convenient than ever. However, as with any type of transaction, consumers need to be mindful of fraud. The good news is that by arming yourself with knowledge and heeding your common sense, you can help protect yourself. Take a look at our tips for safer online shopping:

Know who you’re doing business with

Does the site clearly identify the vendor? The name, address, telephone number and email should be located on the site. If you can’t find the information, that’s a red flag.

Check that the site is secure

Does the site offer transaction security? If you’re providing your credit card information you want to know that it will stay private. Most trustworthy e-retailers use a technology known as SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer. It’s easy to spot: The site address always begins with https:// instead of http. If you’re unsure, contact the retailer to ask for more information about their site’s security. Legitimate businesses won’t mind providing you with these details.

If using an app, confirm it’s genuine

If the purchase is being made through a retailer app, make sure the app is legitimate. One of the latest scams employs malicious software designed to fool consumers into thinking they’re dealing with a well-known merchant when they’re actually sending money and/or information to a hacker. The Canadian Bankers Association warns that scammers have been posting bogus apps in The App Store and other trusted platforms. Consumers are advised to go to the retailer’s website and download the app there.

Provide financial information at the checkout

Never reply to, or click on a link inside, an email or pop-up window that is asking you for your financial information. Legitimate retailers don’t ask for your private information this way.

Read your financial statements

Check your credit card statements carefully as soon as they arrive. Whether you buy online or in store, you should ensure that you recognize all the transactions on your statements and that your information hasn’t been compromised.

Know what you’re buying

To help avoid counterfeits, read the product description carefully and check for red flags, like errors and misspellings. The real indicator of a phony product though is price: If it’s a brand name offered at a too-good-to-be-true price, then, yes, it probably is.

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