If you’re a shopper and you use your credit card for services online as well as in stores, how do you know how safe your financial transactions really are? Can you really be sure that the shops on the web are offering you the best security and not leaving you vulnerable to having your data stolen or your card cloned?
Unfortunately, this kind of criminal activity seems to be happening more and more as we carry out the vast majority of our financial interactions online. In this blog, we take a look at just a few tips that will help keep your cards and therefore your finances safe when shopping online.
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The Golden Rule
You know that expression: if it looks like a duck, quacks like and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck? The same applies for online shopping. If the site looks weird and you feel like something isn’t quite right, then quite probably it isn’t. Stop right there and don’t let yourself be tempted to push through with the transaction. Very often, those sites offering rock bottom prices for high end goods are a total scam. At the very least you’ll get a product that looks nothing like its online image and at the very worst you’ll have handed your card details over to unscrupulous criminals.
If you do feel that you’ve made a mistake, cancel the payment immediately and inform your bank or credit card provider right away. Whether you’re paying debit or credit, your bank should have in place procedures to protect you against fraudulent transactions.
Look Out For The Security Checks
If the website you’re shopping from makes you jump through a few hoops to verify your identity, then you should be relieved rather than annoyed. It probably means they’re using technology to prevent fraud from both sides. Indeed many leading financial services across the globe trust Jumio and other organisations to help verify their customer’s identity before payment.
What To Do If You’re A Victim
Before you do anything else, call your bank and have your card stopped right away. You may also want to alert the police if your bank doesn’t do this automatically, though very often they have a security unit who deals with criminal activity.
Let them know the last time you made a genuine payment and go through recent transactions with a fine-tooth comb to identify anything that didn’t come from you.
Don’t attempt to use this card for anything and as an added preventative measure change all your passwords for any online shopping sites you have an account with.
It is frustrating and it is inconvenient, and it feels like a massive invasion of your privacy, so prevention is always better than cure. Stay safe online by listening to your gut instinct and avoiding anything that isn’t 100% secure. Don’t be a victim if you can possibly help it but if you do fall foul of a scam, get your bank onside immediately and limit your losses.