Staying smart online this Christmas
The ACCC reports that the top four scamming categories in Australia are investments, dating & romance, threats to life (including arrests) and online shopping. In fact, more than $6 million has been scammed from online shoppers in Australia since January and we still have the biggest shopping season of the year to go!
That’s why everyone needs to be aware of online scams and how to keep themselves safe online.
Buy from well-known brands
If you want to minimise your chance of being scammed, it’s best to only buy from well-known and trusted brands. That being said, lots of people buy from Facebook and Gumtree for example, but the issue is that you aren’t actually buying from these platforms. Instead you are buying from an individual or business that’s selling their products on these sites.
The only way you can avoid being scammed is to meet the person face to face and examine the product yourself. That’s likely impossible for many purchases, but it’s the only way you can be safe from scammers. Otherwise, all you can do is make sure that you are dealing with the actual seller and not a scammer, read customer reviews, and shipping and returns policies to determine if they appear legitimate.
Only use secure online payment systems
Make sure that the site has an SSL certificate by looking for ‘https’ at the beginning of the web page’s URL in the browser and not just ‘http’. Don’t pay by direct bank transfer or unusual methods, such as Bitcoin, because if it’s a scam you are unlikely to get your money back. Only use PayPal, Bpay or your credit card to make purchases online. If using PayPal make sure to tick the ‘goods/services’ payment option and not the ‘family and friends’ option as this will violate your protection as an online shopper. Also, never send your credit card details by email to anyone, and don’t buy online using public Wi-Fi, as scammers can steal your information.
Beware of delivery scams
So you have avoided being scammed when shopping online, but now you can be scammed by the delivery company? Well, unfortunately it’s true and is another area where you need to be diligent. These scams are usually sent to you via emails or an SMS message to your phone and their aim is to access your personal information. So be aware of any delivery messages that seem to be generic, not addressed to you and with no details about your order. Some of these scams try to charge you for a package that couldn’t be delivered because you weren’t at home and try to get you to click on a link. Don’t do it! Do not click on any links to verify your personal information or to print out a receipt for collection at a post office or other collection centre. None of the legitimate shipping companies will ask you to click on these type of links. Instead, contact the shipping company to verify that they sent the email.
So whilst we all love shopping online, it pays to be extra careful, especially during the Christmas season.
To decide what type of insurance policies are suitable for your business and ensuring its protection this Christmas season, talk to an insurance specialist today. Contact Lisa Carter.
This article originally appeared on Insurance Advisernet News and has been published here with permission.