City of Carlsbad, CA

11/17/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2023 14:52

Planning to do a little online holiday shopping? Shop safely – here’s how.

Shopping for the holidays online offers convenience by allowing you to explore items from various sellers, easily compare prices, and buy from the comfort of your home. Nevertheless, the internet's convenience also presents opportunities for thieves to access your personal and financial data. Once obtained, this information can be misused by making unauthorized purchases or selling it for fraudulent purposes.

An online scammer can take advantage of online shoppers by

  • Creating fraudulent websites and email messages.
  • Intercepting transactions from vendors that are not encrypted.
  • Targeting vulnerable and unprotected computers.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Shop from Trusted Sources: Purchase items from well-known and trusted retailers. Be cautious with unknown or new websites, especially if the deals seem too good to be true.
  • Shop from Secure Websites: Stick to reputable and well-known websites. Look for "https://" in the URL and a padlock icon in the address bar, indicating a secure connection.
  • Beware of Phishing Scams: Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or ads asking for personal information or urging immediate action. Double-check URLs and email addresses for legitimacy.
  • Use a credit card to limit your liability: you can minimize damage by using a single, low-limit credit card to make all your online purchases.
  • Be Skeptical of Pop-Ups and Unexpected Offers: Avoid clicking on pop-up ads or offers that seem suspicious, especially those claiming unrealistic discounts or prizes.
  • Check Statements and Monitor Accounts: Regularly review your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized charges. Monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.
  • Read Reviews and Policies: Before making a purchase, read product reviews, return policies, and shipping information to ensure a smooth transaction and to be aware of any potential issues.

By taking a few safety precautions, you can avoid the personal and financial heartache that comes from online related fraud. Let's work together to keep the holiday season jolly, safe and secure.