As the holiday season approaches, people around the world are getting ready to cruise the internet looking for great gifts at bargain prices. As you do your online holiday shopping, keep in mind that sites labeled HTTPS guarantee your data is encrypted as it is transmitted between your computer and the web. It does not guarantee that the site is legitimate.
Criminals have gotten wise. They are now registering their fake web sites so they are tagged as HTTPS. So now instead of having to worry about your credit card information being intercepted as you purchase the iPhone XS Max for the unbelievable price of $300.00 USD, you can be confident that only the scammer is receiving your data.
So how do you know that a site is legitimate? Stick with retailers that you have used in the past and access their web sites using a bookmark or search result. If you receive an email with an offer, don’t use the link in the email. Visit the website directly.
If you are using a new retailer:
- Check reviews first. Avoid retailers with large numbers of complaints that haven’t been resolved.
- Always pay with a credit card or PayPal so you have a method of recourse should things go wrong.
- Remember to read all the terms & conditions of sale. Know if they have a return or exchange policy.
Lastly, remember…if it is too good to be true, it probably is a scam.