The season of giving is also the season of scamming according to the Better Business Bureau.
With more online shopping this year than ever before, here are some tips to protect your money and your identity this holiday season.
Do all online shopping with a credit card, not a debit card. It adds more layers of protection if you get scammed, and it gives you an easier path to dispute a charge.
Only do online shopping in your own home or on private Wi-Fi. If you enter your financial information while on public Wi-Fi it could be stolen by hackers.
If you’re making a purchase online, make sure the website address says it is secure or has an address that starts with “HTTPS.” The “s” on the end signifies that it has been verified as a secure website to enter your financial information into.
When shopping online, make sure that you are on the legitimate website for the company you’re looking for. Scammers will create fake websites that have a URL with one word or one character different, so it is hard to tell which one is real. Double check the URL before entering financial information.
Scammers will also send fake shipping notifications to your email. It will ask you to click a link, and that could open up your computer to malware. Don’t open any shipping notification emails that are not from a verified center. The Better Business Bureau recommends you only check shipping by going to the original website you ordered from logging into your account and checking the tracking from your order.
The Better Business Bureau also warns of gift exchanges on social media with people you do not know. These are usually pyramid scheme scams, and thieves will get your personal information and you will never get a gift.
Additionally, if you’re donating to charity use the Better Business Bureau resource give.Org to check and make sure that the charity you’d like to donate to is legitimate.