Shopping and banking online are easy, but they do come with some unique security risks. Here are some tips to help protect yourself from fraud when you are involved in ecommerce transactions.
1. Buy from Known Retailers
Ecommerce fraud is a common risk when you’re shopping online because you can shop at many different retailers’ websites. One of the ways you can combat it is by making purchases from reputable sources. This doesn’t mean you can only buy from retailers you’re already familiar with. But make sure the URL and information on the site of a familiar brand are correct and match your knowledge. For brands new to you, check for any red flags. Corroborate the retailer’s address and contact information, check its delivery, return and refund policies and read the terms and services information thoroughly.
2. Implement Security Measures
There are several types of security measures you can implement to preemptively protect yourself from fraud. These include software like VPNs and password managers, as well as multi-factor authentication to log in to your accounts. Make sure you only enter your credit card information on secure websites, which use encryption measures to protect sensitive information. Measures like chargeback management can help protect and recover money banks or consumers have lost to fraud.
3. Keep Records of Transactions
Even if you vet the retailers you use and start using security software, there is still a risk of fraud. It’s important to keep records of your online transactions just in case. You should print or save your receipt and any other details about the seller or the transaction that might be useful later, such as contact information. This is especially important when you’re in contact with one person for a transaction rather than a corporation. If you’re buying someone’s television secondhand online, the risk of fraud rises so having the seller’s contact information will be important in case fraud does occur. In case of a damaged product being delivered to you, you should also hold onto any tracking numbers used in the delivery. Having all of this information available and ready to provide to law enforcement and your bank will help the investigation.
Following these and other tips help mitigate security risks, but sometimes fraudsters slip past your defenses. If you think you’ve already been the victim of ecommerce fraud, contact law enforcement and your bank or credit card company and follow their instructions.