While shopping online, it’s important to be vigilant as frauds and scams are becoming increasingly common. Whether it is through phishing scams via email or sketchy websites online, there are ways to remain vigilant while shopping.
Here are just a few of the scams you should be aware of.
1. Phishing Scams
Scammers use fake emails or texts from unrecognizable sources to trick people into disclosing personal information such as their banking information, credit cards, and sometimes even their social security numbers. As a precaution, look at emails to see if the sender is legitimate, hover over the links to see if they redirect you somewhere else, and always check for misspellings and grammatical errors.
2. Fake Representatives
Be cautious of unsolicited emails, calls, or messages, especially if they request personal information or payment. Legitimate organizations typically don’t contact individuals out of the blue for such matters. If you believe you are receiving a call from someone claiming that they work for your bank, be wary if they ask you for the following information. A real representative typically wouldn’t ask for your:
- Username and password
- Authorization code
- Debit card PIN
- Social Security number
3. Identity Theft
Scammers often look for sensitive personal information such as your PIN or Social Security Number. Never give out your sensitive information. Verify whether the site you’re using is legitimate and make sure to regularly check your credit report and monitor your bank statements for suspicious activity.
4. Missed Delivery Scam
A very common scam that is on the rise is receiving an email or text saying that you have missed a delivery, with a link asking you to pay a fee to claim the parcel or to see the status of your delivery. If you are not expecting a package or the order information is different from what you were expecting, look at the courier’s website and contact them to confirm.
5. Online Shopping Scams
Scammers are now developing sites that look similar to legitimate sites. They will also post fake ads to blend in and, more often than not, draw attention to these sites. Watch for signs such as deals that seem too good to be true for legitimate goods, misspelled words, and links that seem suspicious. If you cannot find additional information about the site, it may be best that you exit the site.
6. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi When Shopping
Public Wi-Fi is insecure, increasing the risk of hackers stealing your personal information. To ensure that you are shopping safely, always make your purchases from a secure and private Wi-Fi connection.
While you shop online, remember that vigilance is key to a secure and enjoyable experience. By following these tips, you are taking proactive steps to safeguard your personal and financial information. Stay informed, trust your instincts, and make wise choices to ensure that your online transactions are not only convenient but also free from the pitfalls of fraud.
Have you been a victim of an online shopping scam? Enlisting the help of an experienced lawyer can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of the aftermath. A skilled attorney specializing in cybercrime and fraud can guide you through the legal intricacies, helping you understand your rights and options. A skilled attorney can assist in gathering evidence, documenting the details of the scam, and pursuing legal paths to identify and hold the scammers responsible. Also, a lawyer can advocate on your behalf when dealing with law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, or other entities involved in investigating such crimes. Their expertise can prove invaluable in pursuing legal remedies, such as filing a complaint, initiating legal proceedings, or seeking restitution. A lawyer can provide a crucial layer of support, helping you reclaim control and seek justice in the aftermath of an online scam.
Russell Spatz, of the Spatz Law Firm, PL, has decades of experience handling serious criminal law cases. Contact him at 305-442-0200 to discuss your case.