Well, the Internet shopping era is here to stay, and more shoppers are now buying online than ever. And in my opinion, all things considered, that’s a good thing.
But that being said, you should know that scammers are constantly coming out of the virtual woodwork to try to separate you from your hard-earned money.
One of the biggest scams to hit the Internet every year at this time is a flood of fake confirmation emails from crooks pretending to be some of the Internet’s largest online retailers (primarily Walmart, Costco, Home Depot and Target and iTunes).
These malicious emails appear to be standard confirmation emails similar to the ones you receive when you really do purchase something online. The problem is the links in the many of those email messages are fraudulent links that will allow crooks to steal your personal and financial information – and maybe even your money!
Luckily, it’s very easy to avoid falling for these scams. Simply delete every confirmation email you receive without opening it UNLESS you have recently made a purchase from the company the email claims to have been sent from. And by recently I mean within the day or less!
As a precaution, even if you did make a purchase and have little doubt that the email is genuine, I still recommend that you don’t click any links in the email.
Whatever you do, DO NOT enter your username and password or otherwise fill out any forms contained within one of these emails! (And don’t click an “Unsubscribe” link if there’s one in the email!)
Instead, log in to your account with the online retailer and verify all the information listed in the email directly at the website.
Virtually every legitimate online retailer makes it east to review and track your purchases right from your account.
Bottom line: Online shopping can be a wonderful experience, but unfortunately greed, deception and fraud can make it dangerous if you aren’t careful.
Stay vigilant regardless of where you do your shopping to keep the numerous scammers out there from stealing your cash and/or your identity.
And by the way, in case you’re wondering, shopping online is actually just as safe these days as shopping locally if you buy with a credit or debit card because brick and mortar retailers are now getting hacked right and left as well.
Truth be told, the security at the largest online retail websites is actually better than at many brick and mortar stores.
Just be sure to secure your online accounts with a strong password and Two-Factor Authentication and you should be just fine as long as you don’t fall for any phishing attempts in the emails you receive.
Bonus tip #1: Click here for a simple way to completely eliminate the risk of having your credit/debit card info stolen when you shop online.
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