As the holiday season approaches, online shopping is increasing rapidly. Reports of online shopping fraud more than doubled between 2020 and 2021, according to the latest report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to the FTC, consumers over the age of 60 are experiencing more fraud than ever.
Scams include romance scams, sweepstake scams, business imposters, and government fraud. As the holiday season approaches, online shopping fraud is most common.
STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Prevent Holiday Fraud & Do Online Research
Look up the website or company name with the words “reviews” and “complaints.” If the company has a less than desirable reputation, you will discover issues other consumers experienced concerning the quality of the merchandise, refunds, or shipping issues. Additionally, many of these reviews will mention that items were never received, they were unable to contact their customer service, or will directly state that they experienced fraud or that the company is a scam. Next, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if it has received any complaints.
Monitor Your Accounts
Use PHFCUOnline to keep an eye on your transactions, especially during the holidays. Notify Pearl Hawaii right away if there’s any fraudulent activity.
Beware Of Phishing Scams
During the holidays, criminals will create a fake email for a deal that’s too good to be true. If you click on any links within the email, you may be downloading malware onto your computer or you may be asked for payment information that could lead to fraud.
Limit Large Sums Of Cash
Even though financial crimes migrate from physical to cyber, customers should be careful not to carry around large sums of cash when shopping.
Holiday Fraud & Shopping Online
Secure Your Internet Connection. If shopping online, make sure you do so from a password-protected Wi-Fi network. Never access online banking from a public Wi-Fi network.
Before making an online purchase, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with HTTPS.
Read The Site’s Privacy Policies
Read All Of The Details
A note on shipping… See what you can learn about where the company is located. Many common online shopping complaints involve super-slow shipping, and these are often from companies located outside of the United States.
Rule of thumb…
If something doesn’t seem right, shop elsewhere.
HELPFUL HOLIDAY HINTS
- Holiday Savings Tips
- Stop Holiday Fraud
- What Is A Holiday Savings Account?
- Why Do I Need A Holiday Savings Account?
- Why Should I Open A Holiday Savings Account?
- Let’s Get Ready For The Holidays
- Holiday Loans
- Control Holiday Spending