Online shopping is more prevalent than ever and as we head towards the holiday shopping season it's about to ramp up even more. Once again, COVID 19 will play a part as it is assumed that even more people will be holiday shopping on online.
It is vitally important to protect your personal and financial information from online fraudsters.
Last year, within the Alberta RCMP jurisdiction, there were over 1,200 reports of fraud greater than $5,000. There were 6,000 reports of fraud less than or equal to $5,000 and 70 reports of unauthorized credit card data use.
Cochrane RCMP Corporal Troy Savinkoff says the crooks are becoming more and more inventive with their strategies. "You'll receive strange text messages you can receive strange emails. Usually, the strategy that they employ is always to direct you to their site and their site is going to ask you to input your information that if they are your company they should probably know those things already."
It is important that online consumers are diligent and go to the source. Don't be quick to click!
Other ways to protect your information include:
- Never make a purchase while using public Wi-Fi only use a trusted network or data connection
- Do your homework and research retailers before purchasing from them. Check for reviews and their return policy.
- Only purchase from sites using HTTPS rather than HTTP.
- Watch your financial statements for any unauthorized purchases.
- Always ensure you are using strong passwords.
- Remember, if a deal is too good to be true chances are it is.