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Use These Six Tips That Will Help with How to Avoid Holiday Shopping Scams and Mistakes

by Carolyn Lee Dec 6, 2022

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How to avoid holiday shopping scams

Many of us have already prepared our budgets, gift, and grocery lists for holiday shopping. With deals, discounts, and other benefits available to consumers, it is possible to become a victim of holiday shopping scams. Whether you are shopping at a physical location or online via an e-commerce website, these tips might help protect against fraud.

Be alert and look out for scams.

Online shopping has many advantages, including access to better discounts, lower prices, product comparisons, and the convenience of shopping whenever you want. However, online scams like malware website reroutes, phishing emails, and fake websites can cause you to lose money. To counter online shopping scams, stick with companies you know and trust.

Use your credit card instead of a debit to make purchases. Your credit card has security features that a debit card doesn’t. You can lock the card to prevent further fraud. Also, you have a better chance of getting your money back, and the process is potentially less time-consuming.

Check your receipts and items.

You might get distracted while waiting for your purchase is being packed. An item might be missing or accidentally included in your groceries. Although it can be tedious to check a long bill, it is more frustrating to get home and realise you have missing items. Imagine having to return to the store during a shopping rush! 

Ensure that you have privacy when using your bank card in public.

An ATM is a convenient way to get money for purchases that require cash. Exercise awareness when using these machines and protect your bank card PIN. Pay attention to the people in line when you use your card for in-store purchases. Also, compare the card payment and the printed bill to ensure both figures match and that the figure is in the currency you intend to use for payment.

Use notifications on your bank cards. 

Bank account alerts help you keep track of your spending and account activities. They are vital in cases where someone might be using your card without your authorisation. You can contact your bank immediately if you detect any unusual activity with your accounts. Your bank will also alert you via text or email of purchases made using your card. Setting up specific bank alerts lets you track spending and an idea of your account balance.

Review and update passwords, if needed. 

Your password protects private and confidential information that others might use to exploit you. Using the same password for several accounts is a security risk if one of those accounts gets hacked. Create unique passwords for each online account (shopping websites, bank, email, etc.). Ensure that your password is long and includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Also, consider using authentication features to add more security to your accounts. Most importantly, do not share passwords with others. If you receive an email with suspicious links asking you to update your password, log into the account (Amazon, bank, PayPal, etc.) directly to verify that the change is valid.

Pay attention to holiday deals that appear too good to be true. 

We all love a huge discount, especially when the sale is for an item we desire. Be vigilant about holiday deals sent via email that offer unreasonably high discounts. Most hackers imitate a company’s website or email address. However, if you pay attention to the address, you might notice spelling errors with the company’s name or that the link appears suspicious. Do not click the link. You can either visit the store’s website (use Google to find the correct page), check their official social media pages, call, or visit the physical location to verify the sale.

Monitoring our expenditure this holiday requires diligence. Our Find Yello listings allow you to locate businesses near you, view their official websites, read reviews, and contact them via email, phone call, WhatsApp text, or social media.

Sources: Forbes, Commerce Bank, Real Simple, and FICO.