It is that time of year again! The festivities begin and it with that comes the sometimes difficult task of Christmas shopping. It is important to ensure that as you are buying those stocking stuffers, that we are not stuffing the pockets of scammers.
That is why we have put together these handy tips to ensure if you are shopping online this season, you don’t get caught out.
Do not directly input your credit card information onto every site you purchase from
Using a payment host, like PayPal®, to securely manage your payment methods means that there is less risk that your details will be stolen. It also means, if you do happen to have your financial details compromised, it is only one place you have to go to remove your details and/or update. PayPal® is a highly reputable and trusted brand for online financial security.
Consider purchasing a reloadable prepaid card instead
Readily available at supermarkets, post offices and many other retailers, are prepaid reloadable credit cards. You are able to easily load a card with a particular amount of money, and use for online purchases. This ensures that if the details are ever compromised, all that can be accessed is the amount on that card, not your entire savings!
Purchase only from reputable companies
While many online sellers are legitimate, unfortunately scammers can use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off unsuspecting shoppers. It is important that if you hand over your hard-earned cash that you will receive the item you have paid for, this is why you should only shop from well known, reputable websites. Or, if buying from individuals, you should pick up the item and pay on pick up, or have it delivered before handing over the money. Alongside this, is to make sure you check on any sites refund and returns policies, if the company operates from outside of Australia, it may be more difficult to have any problems fixed.
In 2017 so far alone, the ACCC reports a loss of over $1,000,000 from shopping scams. We are already seeing a spike coming into the holiday season with almost $200,000 of this being in October, a $70,000 jump from the previous month.
For more information about online shopping scams, please visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/buying-or-selling/online-shopping-scams
To download the safe online shopping infrographic, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tips-how-stay-safe-when-shopping-online-christmas-ashleigh-white/