As Black Friday continues to grow in popularity, more and more people are skipping the long lines and large crowds for a more intimate experience — online shopping.
While online shopping has its perks, it also opens up buyers to attacks from scammers and hackers.
In 2018, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 16,128 identity theft complaints, and victims lost a total of $100,429,691 million.
So, this week for Tech Tip Tuesday we’ve provided tips to help you stay safe while online shopping.
Stick to what you know
With all the deals and steals happening on Black Friday, it’s tempting to venture out and shop at new stores. But cyber crooks are tricky and can easily design bogus websites for the sole purpose of stealing your credit card information. One way to minimize the chances of this happening is by shopping where you trust — only do online business with retailers you’ve used before.
Beware of suspicious emails
Cybercriminals consistently use email to lure victims. It’s especially easy on Black Friday when you’re repeatedly checking your inbox for the next best deal. And while that email that promises a “special offer” might be tempting, it’s important to remember this one rule of thumb: think before you click especially if the email comes from unknown senders or unrecognizable sellers.
Don’t give out too much information
Here’s another rule of thumb: no shopping website will ever need your Social Security number, for anything. So if you’re being asked to provide more information than necessary, it’s best to walk away.
Check your statements regularly
Checking your statements regularly — at least once a week — can help you quickly identify fraudulent charges.
Report the company
Last but not least, if you suspect that a company fake, notify your credit card company about the charge and close your account. Also, file a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Tip: The FTC offers an identity theft recovery plan, should you need it.