Protecting your online purchases

Reporter: Rich Kolko Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Credit: Negative Space/Pexels

It’s hard to believe there are only 17 days until Christmas!

More and more people are shopping online this year to avoid the coronavirus, but shopping online doesn’t come without risks.

The scammers are out there and with people home more during the pandemic, shoppers are spending more time and more money online.

Online shopping is expected to be up nearly 50% this year, which means the risks of identity theft will also increase. The Florida Attorney General’s Office is on the lookout and released a guide to protecting yourself while shopping online during the holiday season.

“Always be cautious when people ask for your secure financial data, make sure that you are not freely giving out your Social Security number,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“If you do have a password, make sure it has many characters, number, symbols – this will help guard against simplistic passwords that are easier to guess or use during identity theft.”

Scammers will try and trick you with fake websites, deals too good to be true, exclusive deals to get hard-to-find products, and many others.

The goal is always to separate you from your money – and even your identity.

Here are some steps you should take to protect yourself:

  • Check the URL in the address bar and look for the lock;
  • Keep electronic receipts;
  • Check gift cards for expiration dates;
  • Confirm charity sites; and
  • Never provide banking information or personal information.

With increases in online shopping, the risk is there from the ordering to the delivery to even the returns. Stay on top of your purchases to stay safe.

Moody’s Holiday Consumer Protection Guide (pdf) | En español
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