Before entering any personal or payment details, always look at the URL in the address bar. If the address says ‘http’ at the start rather than ‘https’, the website isn’t secure and your information could be at risk. Remember though – always double check that the website you’re using is genuine – a fake website could still use ‘https’ to trick you into thinking the site is real.
You’ve done all your online shopping, and the confirmation emails are rolling in. But before you click on any links check the email is legit and ask yourself, are you expecting an email from this retailer? Would a company send an email from that email address? Bad spelling can also be a telltale sign that it’s not legit. If you’re not sure, log in to your account from the website you made the purchase on, and check your information there.
Is it too good to be true?
Although lots of retailers discount their products for deal days like Black Friday, if something is heavily discounted this could raise alarm bells! If you come across an unfamiliar website which is offering products for extremely low prices, make sure you thoroughly research the company before you make a purchase. It is also beneficial to read plenty of customer reviews to see whether the company is reliable.
Watch out for fake reviews
Reviews are a good way to spot a scam, but you also need to be able to spot fake reviews. Check the date the review was created, if all the positive reviews were made in the last week or even day, they’re probably fake. Make sure you check on the negative reviews too, and if they don’t have any that could be a red flag.
Use your card, not a bank transfer
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe when making a purchase is to use your debit or credit card, rather than a bank transfer. Paying with a debit or credit card gives you more protection – so if a seller asks you to do a purchase using a bank transfer, be careful – it could be a scam.