Protect Yourself While Shopping Online

Nov1

Many consumers will do some, if not most, of their holiday shopping on the Internet. According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper will do 44% of their holiday shopping online, most in survey’s history. But as more consumers turn to the Internet to do their shopping so do the fraudsters with their scams. West Suburban Bank® suggests that consumers follow some simple steps to protect themselves while shopping online

Some people like to shop online because of the convenience and others like the exclusive sales available only on the Web. Whatever the reason, we all have to take steps to protect ourselves and our financial information. Don’t let the spirit of the season get ruined by online fraud.

West Suburban Bank offers the following tips:

If you’re not sure, don’t share. Anyone can set up a website these days so be sure you’re familiar with the retailer’s site before you give them any of your financial information. The Better Business Bureau has a list of about 70,000 safe websites. Check it out at: http://www.bbb.org/online/consumer/default.aspx

Is the site secure? Look for the ‘s’ in https:// and a small padlock at the bottom of the screen before entering any payment information.

Know the terms of your purchase. Is the product returnable and if so, who pays the shipping fees? How long will the product take to ship? What does shipping cost? Read the fine print. If it’s not clear or you don’t agree, make the purchase elsewhere.

Print & Save. Be sure to print and save the transaction receipt, the order number, a customer service phone number, and any other information you can just in case there’s a problem with your order.

Check the privacy policy. Find out what they’re doing with your information by reading the privacy policy. If it’s too complicated to read or they don’t have one, choose to do business with a more consumer friendly website.

TMI. Don’t divulge too much information to anyone on the Internet. If a website is asking for your bank account number, social security number or driver’s license number, don’t share it.

Know your rights. If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, notify the financial institution involved, you can also contact the Federal Trade Commission at: http://www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Visit our Consumer Security Tips page to learn more about the ways you can be proactive in protecting your accounts.

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