Online Fraud is on the rise, and consumers are being targeted through many different channels. This scam is everywhere, making it hard to protect yourself.
According to the National Consumers League, 85% of consumers have reported having fallen victim to a financial fraud in the past year, including cyber or impersonation fraud.
Be wary of clicking on suspicious links or making untruthful calls that claims to be your bank.
Most stores have a system in place that authenticates shoppers so you can authorize a purchase. Some may display the GPS on the inside of your wrist that let you know where you are. They have also allowed you to buy products remotely.
Many stores have extended warranties so you do not have to go back to their brick and mortar locations to have the warranty reinstated if the item breaks. You may also purchase store credit with your store credit card when you are shopping online, but make sure to read the fine print first.
Beware of making bulk purchases
Ebay has cash back redemption programs. If you are confident in what you are purchasing, try to make as few purchases as possible. This has become an even more important topic with the proliferation of online streaming.
Instagram influencers or celebrities often post presents on the side and the influencer is paid by the brand for their participation. If you see them in your area posting presents, be wary. They may receive payment in the form of a lump sum or in exchanges.
There are also a lot of businesses that sell dresses you can try on. They may offer cash back for using their platform.
Do you really need that piece of jewelry?
Check Retailer Reviews
Be very cautious of any retailer who promises you a discount or shipping fees. Typically the discount is an incentive and if you do not like what you are provided, you will be charged the full value of the purchase.
Reputable retailers ensure that there is no shady dealing taking place. It is important to follow the guard dog vetting process.
The more you do with a company, the more they will know about you. If you plan to stay with the company for a long time, they may want to do business with others, but it is best to get a feel for the process.
Do not send sensitive information through email
Don’t click on the link in an email with any description of a package or shipping. If it has some bling attached to it, look at it before opening it. There is nothing inherently wrong with a small diamond or a trendy watch.
Make sure you provide your company with your full name, address, phone number, and any contact information you are willing to give, like email, phone, or a device address.
Ask to see the tracking label, and obtain statements. You may get a better deal without having to purchase your thing at the store, and you won’t get scammed either.
Take the time to educate yourself on these issues and you will have a higher chance of protecting yourself. No matter what type of investment you are planning on making, chances are there is a scam out there. Take a few minutes and educate yourself on these issues before the next holiday shopping season.