As someone who shares tons of deals, trendy styles, and places to shop; it is important to remember to shop safe this holiday season. Whether you are online shopping or shopping in person; there are SO many scams out there and they definitely peak this time of year with everyone shopping for the holidays.
Staying watchful against scams during the holiday season is crucial. With the increase in transactions , returns, emails, etc., scammers often try to take advantage of customer’s willingness to give out their information in order to make a purchase. Here are some ways to stay aware, protect yourself this holiday season, and tips for safe online shopping:
Online Shopping vs. Traditional Shopping – How Can You Shop Safe?
Safe Holiday Shopping Tips
Scammy Emails and Texts: Always be cautious of any unsolicited emails or texts, especially those that are asking for personal information or that are prompting you to click on any suspicious links. Scammers often try to use legitimate businesses or financial institutions, in order to build your trust and steal sensitive information.
Fake Websites: When you are shopping online, make sure you are always on a secure website before entering any personal or payment information. You can check for secure connections by looking for “https://” and a padlock icon in the address bar. If anything catches your attention, take the time to verify the website’s legitimacy and research reviews and the site’s reputation.
Crazy Deals: Yes, there are some great deals out there – especially for the holiday season. But, if a deal seems way too good to be true, it can easily be a scam. Scammers often loffer incredibly low prices on trendy and popular items in order to convince you to purchase from them, instead of the legit site.
Gift Card Scams: Never purchase any gift cards from an unofficial source or a third-party seller, especially online. This is a quick and easy way to get scammed, as scammers sell gift cards that have already been used or have no value.
Payment Methods: Consider if they use a trusted payment processors like Paypal or not. There are many types of PayPal scams to be aware of, so make sure to check “is PayPal safe“? *collaborative post* Use secure payment methods and avoid sharing sensitive information, such as your Social Security number or personal banking details, unless absolutely necessary and on trusted platforms.
Monitor Your Accounts: You should be doing this already, but especially when shopping a lot – Regularly check your bank and credit card statements for any suspicious or unauthorized transactions.
Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and do more research before making a purchase or providing personal information. A good deal or convenient purchase is not worth being scammed.
Online Shopping vs. Traditional Shopping – Which Is Safer?
When it comes to shopping during the holiday season, the choice between online and traditional methods can definitely impact the vulnerability to certain types of scams:
Online Shopping: Shopping online and having items delivered right to your door the next day is SO convenient, but it does with unique risks. The risk of falling victim to counterfeit goods, fake reviews, and scamming sellers is common in online marketplaces. However, by using the tips above, you can take advantage of secure payment gateways, read reviews, and verify the legitimacy of websites in order to decrease the risk.
Traditional Shopping: While traditional shopping is more familiar and secure, it’s not necessarily immune to scams. In-store shoppers risk counterfeit goods, overpayment scams, and the possibility of encountering fraudulent sellers or retailers as well. However, when you are physically shopping, you are able to inspect the product yourself, interact with the employees, and pay with cash.
Whether shopping online or traditionally, if something seems too good to be true, use these safe holiday shopping tips to investigate further before making a purchase or providing any personal information. Stay Safe & Happy Shopping!
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