• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Starting online shopping, watch out for scammers

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As online shopping becomes i n c reasi ng ly popular, there are good chances that you may find it convenient doing some of your shopping online. To ensure your Internet shopping is as secure as it is convenient, that is why these online shopping guidelines and identity protection tips become important for you to know.

Identify who you are buying from. If you haven’t shopped at the retailer before, research it online to see what other customers are saying. Or call the customer service number to ask about their policies and guarantees. If the website doesn’t include a phone number, email the company and start a dialogue with them before buying anything.

Don’t buy from spammers. Watch out for emails from companies you don’t know offering to sell products at steep discounts. It’s probably spam – an email sent indiscriminately to thousands of people. If you do buy from a spammer, chances are your purchase will be of poor quality – if you even get it. Or worse, the spammer could steal your credit or debit card number.

Exploit a secure means of payment. Credit cards are one of the safest ways to make online purchases. Most Nigeria banks package helps protect customers so that they are not responsible for any fraudulent transactions. Online payment services offer some protection as well. Never send cash or a wire transfer, as you will have little recourse if you don’t get what you paid for.

Protect yourself from identity theft offline as well. Shred any document with personal or financial information before throwing it out.

Make sure the website is encrypted. Once you get to the purchase page, check that the address begins “https” rather than just “http” before hitting “send”. The “s” means the site is secure, and your financial and personal information is encrypted before being sent over the Internet.

Evaluate the website’s policies. Before making your purchase, review the website’s online shopping and return policies. Make sure the site’s commitment to customer service is what you’d expect from any retailer.

Keep your computer security current. Use a comprehensive security software tool to help prevent viruses, identity theft and fraud, and check for updates regularly to protect yourself from the latest threats.

Trust your instincts. If you have any doubts about the site, listen to your gut instincts and don’t buy from them. Warning signs that the site may be illegitimate are lack of contact information and deals that are too good to be true – which means they probably are.

Evaluate your bills and purchases. Print and save your online bills, and compare them to your credit card or bank statement to make sure you’ve been billed correctly. When your purchase arrives, check it immediately to make sure it’s what you ordered and is of good quality.

When was the last time you had a financial checkup? 

 

TIAMIYU ADIO ISMAIL