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Online Shopping Fraud

Online shopping is easy and convenient and can offer you greater choice and help you find the very best deals. But with 70% of all card fraud occurring online it also allows criminals to attempt crimes from a distance reducing their chances of being caught.

If you follow a few simple guidelines there is no reason why online shopping should be any less secure than shopping on the high street.

Key Advice

  1. Know who you are dealing with – Try to find out as much as you can about the retailer before you purchase anything from them. Use shops that your friends and colleagues have used successfully or ones that you have heard about through trusted sources.
  2. Make sure your internet access is secured – The beginning of the retailer’s website address should change from ‘http’ to ‘https’ before a purchase is made. This indicates that you are using a secure connection.
  3. Look for the padlock symbol – Click on the security icon (the padlock or unbroken key symbol) to ensure that the retailer has an encryption certificate. The link should describe the type of security and encryption being used.
  4. Keep your computer and security up to date – Install a reliable antivirus and browser security software. Ensure it has the latest updates and that it scans your computer regularly to check for malware. Make sure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring. These safety options are not always activated by default when you purchase and install your computer.
  5. Keep a record of your purchase – Print out or save a copy of your order.
  6. Read the Terms and Conditions – Ensure you are fully aware of any payment commitments you are entering into, including whether you are instructing a single payment or a series of recurring payments. Be particularly careful to read the terms and conditions when signing up for a free trial that requests your credit or debit card details. Paid subscriptions can automatically kick-in at the end of the free trial so check for any cancellation policy.
  7. Be cautious about emails claiming outrageous offers or online ads offering miracle products – Generally if it sound too good to be true, it probably is.
  8. Pay attention to your own instincts – If you have any doubts about giving out your card details, end the transaction and purchase your goods elsewhere.
  9. Be password savvy – The best passwords are alpha-numeric (using letters and numbers) and at least 8 characters in length.
  10. 3D Secure – This is a tool available for cardholders that protects your MasterCard or Visa Card against unauthorised Internet use. 3D Secure enables you to verify that you are the actual cardholder in a similar way to keying in a PIN at the Point of Sale. Contact your bank or card issuer today to find out more about registering for using 3D Secure.