Don’t let online fraudsters spoil your Christmas shopping
Statistics show that 77% of UK internet users purchase online and with Christmas just around the corner more and more of us will be buying our gifts on the internet. Unfortunately it is also a time when fraudsters cash in, using scams old and new to exploit people’s good will and ruin their festive period.
Here are some useful tips to help avoid falling victim to the fraudsters.
- If something seems too much of a bargain, it’s probably poor quality, fake or doesn’t exist.
- Phishing emails offering deals abound at this time of the year, don’t click on any links or attachments and go to the website from your browser, if the deal is genuine you should be able to find it.
- Fraudsters use social media to post links to fictitious websites offering deals, be wary of these even if they have been recommended by someone you know.
- If you want to buy something from a less well known website do your research, if they are not legitimate you will quickly find out.
- Websites like Amazon and eBay allow third party users to set up “shops”, if you intend to use one check their rating and what users are saying about them.
- Look for the padlock symbol and https:// in the address bar. These are indicators of a secure webpage and your details will be transmitted securely.
- Some websites will ask if you want to store your payment details others will ask you to opt out of having them stored. Whilst it is convenient to have your payment information stored on frequently used websites this is a risk and it is recommended that you enter your details each time you make a purchase.
- Use methods like PayPal when buying on auction sites; never transfer money to someone you don’t know.
- Secure Wi-Fi is vital for your privacy. Check that the network you’re using is secure before you make any financial transaction and never assume a public Wi-Fi hotspot is secure.
- If you’re buying tickets, always buy from official sources and never pay by direct transfer.
- Always ensure that your keep your security software, operating systems and other security measures up to date on your devices.