Welcome, and thanks for taking the time you read our article. Each year millions of innocent shoppers get scammed online, and if you implement our tips we hope that you never get tricked by these unscrupulous scammers.
Perform these simple checks before you make your next purchase from an unfamiliar website and our tips could prevent you from being scammed or worse, a fraudster stealing your identity.
Look for the padlock
Always check to see if there’s a padlock in the corner of the web browser and that the web address begins with ‘https:’ AND NOT ‘http:’. The ‘https:’ means the website is secure and is using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption.
Check the other pages
Firstly, how good is the grammar on the website. Poor grammar on a website is not acceptable and could mean it’s a scammer. All legitimate websites should have the following pages:
- Returns Policy
- Privacy or similar
If any of these pages are not present, chances are the site is a scam.
The clever Pharming Scam
Pharming scam is when a scammer cleverly creates a fake version of another website to steal your information and rip you off. Pharming is a sophisticated practice which misdirects users to a fraudulent website without their permission. These sites tend to look good, but you can usually spot them by looking at the web address. Look for misspellings or numbers, as this tends to be used by scammers.
Look for Paypal or Stripe at the checkout
Our advice is to only purchase from websites who offer a secure checkout and use a reputable credit card processor like Stripe. Additionally look to see if they accept Paypal. One of the main benefits of Paypal is you do not need to enter your credit/ debit when making a purchase. The same also applies when you pay with Apple Pay.
Do not buy whilst connected to public wifi
Only purchase online when you are sure the wifi connection is secure. Unfortunately, you cannot be certain that using public wifi is a secure connection, so why risk it. Our advice is to wait until you get home or some other place where the wifi is secure.
Online sellers should not ask your date of birth
Only give the online seller information you would expect such as name, address, email and contact number. If the seller asks for your date of birth or social security numbers then chances are they are scammers and want to steal your identity.
There it is, six simple tips which will keep you safe shopping online. Remember, look for the padlock!
Please share these tips to help your friends and family stay safe shopping online.