During seasonal sales, there is a peak in the activity of scammers. While buyers are thinking about how to purchase a rare item with a crazy discount, the scammers are dreaming of the moment they get information about buyers’ bank cards and withdraw money from them. In this article, we have collected tips on how to secure your bank card and shop during sales without the risk of losing money.
1. Check if a website is a scam or legit
A banal but very practical piece of advice: you are unlikely to confuse the familiar AliExpress or Farfetch with a fake site, but sometimes scammers create very similar copies of popular online stores. However, clone sites may contain text errors or may look slightly different from the originals.
Usually, inattentive buyers are lured to such fake sites with the help of phishing. Scammers send emails about huge discounts to users and provide a link to fake websites in them. The AliExpress press service also advises checking if the connection to the site is secure. If it is, a lock should be displayed to the left of the web address, or the address itself should be written in green.
2. Don't save bank card data in your browser
You should not store bank card data, your email password and login, or those of other Internet services in the browser. If the computer becomes infected with a virus, the stored data can be stolen. Entering your login and password every time might be inconvenient, but it is safe.
3. Get a separate bank card for online shopping
To further protect your funds, it is better to create a separate card or virtual account for online purchases and transfer precisely the amount of money you plan to spend there. Not all online stores use the technology of confirming payments via SMS (3D-secure). Therefore, sometimes the card data is enough for a fraudster to pay for something with your money.
4. Get a special email address for online shopping
It is worth registering a separate mail for purchases in online stores. While using your personal email address, you leave a digital footprint that fraudsters can use to determine other social media accounts that are linked to that email. You can also create an anonymous email using various services, for instance, Crypto G Mail.
5. Do not share your personal data by phone
Scammers can call you and introduce themselves as employees of the online store. The scheme is as follows: using a special program, fraudsters substitute the store’s phone number with a fake one from which they call you and ask you to name the card data or the verification code received from the bank. Just a reminder: you should not share this information with anyone.