Tips for protecting yourself
WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE
Never trade outside an auction website. 2 Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know or trust. 3 Never respond to emails asking for credit card details. 4 Do your homework. Look at other people’s comments about a seller, or do an internet search to see what others have said.
Only send money through a secure payment mechanism. If a retailer asks for a payment via wire transfer, money order, pre-loaded money card or gift cards it is often a scam. 6 Only ever pay through the website. Don’t respond if the seller subsequently contacts you directly by email or phone.
Pay by credit card if possible as it’s easier to contest a payment. Most scams rely on people using debit cards, when the money comes straight out of your bank account. 8 Consider keeping a credit card with a low limit ($1000 to $2000) just for your online shopping. That will cap the amount you could lose.
Check the website’s refund or returns policy, and always keep receipts. 10 Ensure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware. This will help prevent phishing scams (where scammers send you messages directing you to fake websites). 11 Use a secure password to log on to email.
Consider using different email addresses for different purposes, including a specific email for your bank, another for family and friends, and a third for general use. 13 Never share your PIN with anyone and never send it over the internet. 14 Check your credit card statements closely and query any discrepancies.