The convenience of shopping online is alluring. You can shop from the comfort of your home and receive your new goods without setting foot in a store. When you shop online, though, you have to be more aware of thieves and fraudsters who’d like nothing more than to get their hands on your credit card information.
Fraudsters can get access to your personal information online by setting up fake stores, which can look amazingly similar to the real thing. They may even go so far as to confirm your order and send email confirmation. However, it’s only when you don’t receive the merchandise you paid for that you realize you may have been a victim of an online shopping scam.
If you shop online you have to be careful; otherwise, could find yourself dealing with hundreds of fraud charges.
Shop at retailers you know and trust
Check for encryption
Look for signs of encryption on the page that you enter your payment information. Encryption ensures your exact name and credit card details aren’t transferred over the internet. It keeps hackers who might intercept the information from getting your specific information. You can recognize an encrypted web page by checking for “https://” (vs. just “http://”) at the front of the URL.
Trust your instinct
If you’re at a website that doesn’t look completely legitimate, go somewhere else. Sites that have bad grammar, spelling mistakes, bad design, and lots of ads are usually scams. Never enter your personal information in a website you don’t completely trust.
Use your credit card
When it comes to shopping online, using your credit card is safer than using a debit card or check card. If a thief gets access to your check card information, he can drain your checking account leaving you penniless until the bank sorts through the fraud. Not only that, Federal laws regarding checking account and debit card fraud aren’t as generous as they are with credit cards.
Dealing with fraudulent charges
Fortunately, the Fair Credit Billing Act (a Federal law) gives you the right to dispute fraudulent credit card charges. You can use our guide to correcting billing errors for information on clearing up fraudulent charges. In many cases, you won’t be responsible for any of the charges, but in the worst case, you’ll only be responsible a maximum of $50.