Cyber Monday has arrived! And it is, as ever, a veritable behemoth of a worldwide sales event, bristling with bargains and a dizzying array of offers, all at low, low prices. It’s all too easy however to get a little disorientated by the mass-induced shopping frenzy, and perhaps a little careless in our singular pursuit of that must-have item we've seen online. This means we can often overlook, or ignore, the warning signs that what we're buying, and where we’re buying from, might not be all it seems.
With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to list a few tips and tricks – as provided by our Fraud Team – that should help keep you stay safe during the Cyber Monday excess, and help keep your money protected from any dodgy deals.
Lock down the URL
When inputting sensitive information, especially financial information on a purchasing page, make sure the URL starts with ‘https’. The ‘S’ means it’s secure.
Avoid bank transfer buying
Try to use trusted payment sources only. Professional merchants usually will have websites that support a variety of payment options. Fraudsters tend to prefer bank transfers.
Watch out for those ‘hidden’ subscription traps
Have you ever looked at your account to see a recurring charge that you didn't expect and didn't order? A subscription trap occurs when you're purchasing online and you're tricked into buying additional products or services that you don’t need. Many have been stung by these types of subscription traps. Over the coming days, check your balance very closely!
Protect your most valuable asset, your data
When making purchases online, think twice if you’re asked for additional personal and sensitive data. Are you being asked for ID, passport or driving licence numbers? Or even National Insurance numbers? These details are irrelevant to your purchase. Your identity could end up getting ‘stolen’ and used to commit unscrupulous things.
Beware fake “IT Support”
Some scammers can give the impression that the website you’re visiting has ‘frozen’ and urge you to call a support team to fix it. During the phone call, these scammers can masquerade as major computer companies and persuade you into believing that your computer is riddled with viruses. In reality it is not, and you’ve passed over sensitive information unnecessarily.
Buy from trusted sites only
Buying from third-party sellers, including some social media stores, offers no refund policies and are a haven for fraudsters looking to steal your money.
By keeping sight of these basic rules of engagement, there’s no reason why your Cyber Monday shopping bonanza – even if you’re just hunting for a great deal on a new phone – shouldn’t be an easy, secure and rewarding pre-Christmas indulgence.