31 Million: U.S. consumers who had credit cards breached in the US in 2014. $16 Billion: Defrauded from 12.7 million consumers. 22%: Students who found out that they were defrauded – only after being denied credit or being told by a debt collector (3x higher than other fraud victims). 18%: American adults who said they had personal information stolen online. 14 Million: Fraud victims expected in 2018.
Get Software Updates
Install updates for Web browsers, email programs, and operating systems.
Prevent the installation of fake updates. Download updates directly through the software.
Use a Reputable Antivirus
Make sure your device has antivirus software installed and activated.
Many threats come from malware, which steal payment information, identity or can harm your device.
Ignore Emails and Pop-ups Even with anti-virus software you are never completely safe. Follow these tips to keep you safe:
Don’t click pop-up ads – they may contain malicious software.
Be wary of Cyber Monday emails that include attachments.
Delete or trash them – they may contain a virus.
To check out a deal in an email, open the actual website by typing the URL into the bar.
An email can be well masked – you could be clicking into a totally fraudulent version of a site.
Look for SSL Padlock Icon
The SSL padlock icon ensures information is secure.
The symbol should appear in the far left corner of your browser’s search bar.
The URL in your browser, should show “HTTPS,” rather than just “HTTP.”
Do not enter personal or payment info if you visit a site without the icon or HTTPS.
Continually check the URL as you browse. Scammers can make mock-up pages to fool you into thinking you are on the right page.
Use Credit Cards or PayPal, but not Debit Cards
For online shopping, use either a credit card or PayPal.
Check your statements. If anything looks unusual, call your credit card provider or bank .
Important to Know: Debit cards: Funds removed from the card belong to you. Once stolen from your account, funds are gone. It is very difficult to recover. Credit Cards: Your account is charged for the amount, but funds are not taken from your bank account immediately. The credit card company may protect you from fraud. Keep Passwords Fresh
Use “quality” passwords when shopping online.
Check online guides to creating excellent passwords.
Use different passwords for every account.
Change current passwords you have already created to make sure they are effective.
Change your passwords often, so they don’t remain vulnerable.
Shop with Familiar Sites Remember the saying “if it sounds too good to be true” – it probably is”. On Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday there will be many great deals online:
Buy only from stores you know and trust.
Be very wary of fraud,or poor service, return policies, etc.
Shop from Home or Secured Networks
Shop from a trusted connection only – preferably one that is password protected.
Public Wi-Fi are easy targets for criminals looking to steal personal information.
Don’t Divulge Extra Info
An online store should only require your name, billing and shipping address, payment
info, or discount/coupon codes.
If a site requests extra information stop the transaction immediately.
Read the Fine Print:
Carefully examine and identify the exact brand and model number on sale.
Avoid bait-and-switch ads with low prices that are not guaranteed to be in stock.
Fine print stating “quantities are limited” is a tell-tale sign of this tactic. Beware of Hidden Shipping Costs:
Look out for advertised prices that do not factor in shipping and handling.
Examine all shipping and handling costs before committing to any online purchases.
Track Your Orders
In many cases, you will have order tracking information.
If your order does not arrive when it should, contact the shipping company.
Did you know? If you are buying from a retailer with brick-and-mortar locations, you can check for the option for in-store pickup.
How to Report Online Shopping Fraud If you feel you are a victim of fraud you can file a complaint with: