Thanks in part to the worldwide supply chain delays the holiday shopping season has started earlier than ever, with shoppers trying to scoop up top gift items before they disappear. That means the online shopping scam season has officially begun.
AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl says there’s a few things you should do when shopping online.
“The safest place to shop online is with retailers you trust and by typing their web address into your web browser is much safer than clicking on a link you find in an email or web search. Also, avoid deals that you know are too good to be true, even if the offer comes from a friend. Scammers are experts at hacking social media accounts and one of the first things they do is send out fake offers to victim’s friends and family.”
Meanwhile, legitimate charities make a big push at year-end for last minute annual donations. However, scammers do the same.
“If a charity solicits you for a donation, even if your first instinct is to donate, be careful. Check the charity out before donating. A couple of useful sites for this are charitynavigator.org or give.org. A little research can help make sure your donation is going to the charities that really are using your money for good.”
Additionally, an AARP survey found that nearly 70 percent of people shopping online this holiday season plan to pay with a debit card. Voskuhl says choosing this form of payment makes you vulnerable to greater fraud losses.
“Fraudulent charges on a credit card can be reported and removed from your account whereas with a debit card those same charges don’t go back into your bank account until they are recovered – which they rarely are. Additionally, purchases made over the internet are less secure than those made in a brick and mortar retailer.”