As Jack Frost starts to nip at your toes and we get ready for the festive period that’s almost upon us we’re no doubt fighting the crowds on the high street to source that perfect gift or maybe you're sat at home, toasty in your pyjamas like an internet ninja hunting down the latest and greatest deals on the web. Whilst online shopping is a great way to beat the crowds, the scammers sadly don’t rest for the holidays and with an expected 80% of festive shopping being done online this year they will no doubt be resorting to some sophisticated tactics to trick and bamboozle you.
But alas, never fear for Stephen is here, with some festive tips which if followed will help to keep you safe when buying your goodies online.
Watch how you splash the cash
When paying for goods online its best to use a debit or credit card, sending money direct to someone’s bank account or posting gift cards isn’t typical behaviour and if the seller is up to no good, could make it difficult to get your money back. Most debit and credit card come with a fraud guarantee so its much safer to pay with your cards.
Getting some winter sun or escaping to the north pole?
Before booking that great beach escape for the winter be sure to check that the website or tour operator is ABTA and ATOL bonded, all genuine tour operators and travel agents will have an ABTA number and doing so gives you protection, so check it out before packing that sun cream.
Phish n Chips
Plenty of salt please… Sorry, I’m not talking about food, Phishing email and SMS scams are rife throughout the whole year but this time of year the scammers seems to step it up a gear. Be sure to watch for messages claiming to be from delivery companies for parcels you didn’t order, this can be tricky this time of year with so much online shopping but if in doubt call the company your ordered from to double check. It’s possible you’ll also get messages claiming to be from your bank and wanting to speak with you following activity on your account, this is a common scammer tactic, if in doubt call your bank, you’ll find their number on the back of your debit or credit card near the signature stripe.
No “HTTPS”, No spending
All genuine and reputable websites that process any level of personal data will have a security certificate, this encrypts the information between your computer or mobile device and the website. For example, let's say you're entering your debit card details to buy that Steiff Demiguise you’ve had your eye on all year, if the website has HTTPS in the address bar you can be safe in the knowledge that your information will be securely transferred to the seller.
Be sure to check for the HTTPS
If it's too good to be true, it may be!
It can be difficult to resist some deals but trust your gut, if something seems like its too much of a bargain… it probably is so spend a little more time checking it and the seller out.
If you think you may have been a victim of fraud or a scam, you should contact the police via Action Fraud (0300 123 2040) and follow its advice on what to do next.
Hey everyone, I'm your community manager and resident eco warrior on a mission to end single use plastic and a move away from fossil fuels and not to mention, i'm here to help keep the community ticking over each day.