Protecting yourself from online shopping scams | What the Tech?

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — It wasn’t that long ago that a majority of people were scared to shop online for fear they’d be hacked.

Today, people think nothing of connecting a credit card and buying something on a computer or a phone. Still, there are risks.

Scammers are out there hoping someone makes a mistake. Online crooks use a variety of tactics to trick you into handing over your credit card information. They’ll use ads on social media imitating the websites of reputable companies.

Don’t trust ads that offer insane prices at popular retailers. Their websites look identical to the real thing.

This real Vineyard Vines website and the fake one look similar. It’s hard to tell the difference.

Check the web address. If it ends in something other than “.com”, it’s probably fake.

Shopping on public WiFi is risky. We receive a warning about unsecure networks, but a sale’s a sale, right?

Cybercriminals, who know what they’re doing, can intercept usernames, passwords and even credit card numbers without you knowing it.

When shopping in public, use your cellular provider’s network instead of public WiFi. If you’re using a laptop, turn on your phone’s personal hotspot and connect to it.

Use a VPN or virtual private network when you shop with a credit card online. Ignore the free apps as those aren’t always safe.

This one is super important: Do not use a debit card when shopping online.

Debit cards are connected directly to your bank account. If the number is stolen, you may not get your money back. Use a credit card or Paypal that will protect your purchase.

Also, review your bank and credit card bank statements.

Last year, some Amazon customers reported getting unsolicited calls from someone claiming to be from Amazon. They asked for their account and credit card information but Amazon says they’ll never contact customers over the phone.

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