Protect Yourself When Shopping Online

steal-cc.jpg Shopping online is the greatest thing to come along since canned beer but there are some risks involved. We’ve all heard the horror stories about people’s credit card information being stolen and orders never fulfilled. Fortunately, these are isolated problems for the most part and we can take steps to ensure satisfaction when we do our shopping over the internet. Here are five tips to keep in mind the next time you’re ready to pull the trigger on an online purchase:

1. Make sure the internet connection is safe and secure.
If the web site where you are entering your credit card information begins with “http” or “https” then you’re going to be in good shape. These sites automatically use Secure Sockets Layer which is a service that encrypts credit card information. If you’re using a site that doesn’t begin with either of those sets of letters than you should wait to see a pop-up indicating that the site uses SSL. If you don’t get either of these indicators then take your business elsewhere.

2. Know the seller.
If you’re considering buying something but you have never heard of the seller then you should consult the Better Business Bureau to check their reputation. A surefire way to know that you’re dealing with a shady company is if they sent you an unsolicited email. These are companies with a bad reputation for scamming customers.

3. Be sure you’re getting the latest update on your purchase order.
Many companies will be slow to update their online catalogues. Use your refresh button or even call the company if you believe there is an updated price on the item you’re looking to buy that’s cheaper than the one advertised.

4. Investigate before you purchase.
Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying. If you go ahead and purchase something and you receive something totally different than what you were looking for you will be sad when you find out there’s very little you can do.
5. Print out your receipt. This is a crucial step for the online shopper. Many of us will skip that last step on the screen where it tells us to print out our receipts. Even if you don’t print it out you should at least email it to yourself. In the digital world of shopping this may be your only way to lay claim to a product or service that wasn’t delivered and you want your money back.

26 Existing Comments

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  1. Robb Auspitz said:
    on August 7th at 08:47 am

    An excellent article on consumer safety. Something everyone should read.

  2. Ms Dow Antiques said:
    on August 7th at 11:08 am

    All good tips. Also, don’t order/enter credit info from a shared or public-use computer. And if you don’t receive or are unhappy with your items received, and the seller won’t correct/cooperate, check with your credit card company. Many times they will refund your money. Happy safe shopping!

  3. Yuvaraj said:
    on August 8th at 02:57 am

    Hi,

    This article is pretty short and conveys the message.

    Thanks,

    Yuv

  4. Cindy King said:
    on August 9th at 07:05 am

    Security is something people easily forget about, the more at ease you are with the internet. These are good tips that should be posted next to each computer where the kids go online.

    I included a link to your post in my International Marketer Review Blog Carnival and I stumbled it.

  5. Finance said:
    on November 10th at 10:16 am

    Online security is the most important factor when shopping online, especially when you need to disclose your financial information.

  6. Dr. Sassafras said:
    on December 28th at 10:05 pm

    1. I personally would not trust any security article that says http is automatically encrypted. Http is automatically non-encrypted.

    2. Pop ups saying the connection is secure…. This almost exclusively sounds like a scam. If you do get a popup saying the connection is secure RUN! (unless of course there is a https in the address bar :)

    2. Consulting the Better Business Bureau is a very poor way of confirming an online identity. Much better to visit some online forums or try to contact the company directly. BBB is really meant for offline business, not internet.

    3. Using the refresh button on your browser will only reload what you have already seen. You can press it all day and you will only see the same thing….. Go ahead, it wont hurt…. but it has noting to do with purchasing on the internet!

    4. Instead of calling the company to find out if the price they listed is the price they want for the item, you might want to look at someone else’s website for a different price. Just a thought….

    5. Printing a receipt is a waste of time, if you are only trying to make claim that you purchased something. First of all, you almost always get a email saying you purchased something. Second, you should really try to use paypal (who has records). Third, so long as you have done your due diligence in verifying the company origins, they are not trying to take your money and have there own records.

    If people take his advice seriously, they could become victims of fraud. At the very least it would completely disorient people in finding out how to do business online. And you really do need to know how to do business online. Its not the same as shopping in a store.

    My advice would be to discard everything in this article and find another find another one, who was written by someone else.

    Dr. Sassafras

  7. Dan said:
    on December 29th at 03:36 am

    First time here, cool site!

    Personally I think credit cards in general should be illegal, but these are decent tips on how to avoid fraud.

  8. Anthony said:
    on January 22nd at 04:14 pm

    Be careful about links in emails. Hackers can make phishing emails look totally legit-I’ve even seen emails that tell you not to click on links in the email even though that’s what they want you to do!

  9. dental lab vibrator said:
    on April 21st at 04:42 am

    Just happened upon your site today. Very interesting, I learned some interesting things. Vance

  10. Blogging Banks said:
    on May 22nd at 02:07 pm

    That’s a great site to learn from. Unfortunately you don’t seem to be updating it any more.

    Hope everything is ok.

  11. Credit Girl said:
    on January 5th at 08:09 pm

    I like your article-short, simple, and straight to the point. As consumers, we have to be aware of where we are purchasing from by checking credibility as well. Sometimes I’ll type in the name of website that I am purchasing from to see others’ reviews of their service. If there is anything connected to a “scam” or “fraud” then I don’t even take out the time to look anymore.

  12. Credit Girl said:
    on January 12th at 01:50 pm

    I’ve run into so many scams shopping online that it’s ridiculous. Sometimes I really have to trust the site now to even buy from them because there are so many frauds out there…Thanks for pointing out some basic tips on how to be safe while shopping online. I always investigate before I shop certain new websites because sometimes the deals they offer seem too good to be true. So I might type in the name of the site plus the word “fraud” or “scam” to see if anything shows up on google and if there is even one bad review, I do not purchase from them.

  13. Paintball said:
    on May 19th at 02:13 pm

    I’ve run into so many scams shopping online that it’s ridiculous. Sometimes I really have to trust the site now to even buy from them because there are so many frauds out there…Thanks for pointing out some basic tips on how to be safe while shopping online. I always investigate before I shop certain new websites because sometimes the deals they offer seem too good to be true. So I might type in the name of the site plus the word “fraud” or “scam” to see if anything shows up on google and if there is even one bad review, I do not purchase from them.
    +1

  14. National Savings Certificates said:
    on October 25th at 11:30 am

    Online shopping is the best thing to come by, since canned beer, but there are some inherent risks. We ve all heard horror stories about informing people credit card is stolen and orders never fulfilled. Fortunately, these problems mostly isolated, and we can take steps to ensure the satisfaction when we shop online. Here are five tips to keep in mind the next time you re ready to pull the trigger on a purchase online

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    on December 9th at 08:46 pm

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    Kind regards,
    Tony

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  18. Savings Accounts said:
    on August 23rd at 09:54 am

    I personally think that you should have limited amounts on whatever card you are using. For instance, if it is a credit card, then a small limit, if a debit card only have limited funds on the card. So if the worst was to happen, then at least you will not be hit hard.

  19. Gracie said:
    on July 29th at 10:45 pm

    Fastidious answers in return of this matter with genuine
    arguments and describing everything regarding that.

  20. www.classifiedad4free.com said:
    on September 8th at 12:09 am

    So, fundamentally, you should use two deals on a single product.
    There may probably become a coupon available that
    allows you to get an item free of charge.

  21. EoC said:
    on October 11th at 03:36 am

    This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise infoÖ Apprfeciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  22. Nick Elsberry said:
    on December 4th at 04:14 am

    Thanks for this glorious article. Also a thing is that many digital cameras arrive equipped with some sort of zoom lens that permits more or less of any scene to get included by way of ‘zooming’ in and out. These kind of changes in target length tend to be reflected while in the viewfinder and on substantial display screen right at the back of the actual camera.

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