Online Christmas Shopping: How to stay safe and avoid fraud this season
December 3, 2020
But if you’re not careful there are traps on the internet, where things aren’t all they seem. Here’s our top tips for a fraud-free Christmas
It’s worth doing some research on online retailers to check they’re legitimate. Read feedback from people or organisations that you trust, such as consumer websites.
Use a credit card when shopping online, if you have one. Most major credit card providers protect online purchases, and are obliged to refund you in certain circumstances. Using a credit card (rather than a debit card) also means that if your payment details are stolen, your main bank account won’t be directly affected.
You should only fill in the mandatory details on a website when making a purchase. These are usually marked with an asterisk (*), and will typically include your delivery address and payment details. You shouldn’t have to provide security details (such as your mother’s maiden name, or the name of your first pet) to complete your purchase.
If you’re using the same password for your online accounts (or using passwords that could be easily guessed), then you’re at risk. Hackers could steal your password from one account, and use it to access your other accounts. For this reason, you should make sure that your really important accounts (such as your email account, social media accounts, banking accounts, shopping accounts and payment accounts like PayPal) are protected by strong passwords that you don’t use anywhere else.