Retail store – UK supermarket Image by Tim Sandle
As the main holiday shopping period approaches, expect more email scams. the company First Direct has looked more common ways criminals attack consumers online and came up with a set of tips to help people protect themselves during the Christmas shopping period.
The main types of risk factors consumers face have been shared with Digital Diary.
Many of the scams focus on package delivery scams. This is a very common scam at this time of year, where a person receives a text or email that appears to be from a courier company or Royal Mail, telling them that they have lost a parcel and need to enter personal details to arrange a new delivery. .
At a time of year when you’re likely to buy things online and expect delivery, it can be very easy to fall victim to this type of scam, especially since the text or email will often seem perfectly legitimate.
To protect yourself, First Direct recommends that it is important to do the following:
- Do not click on any links in the email or text.
- Check the text or email for misspellings of your name or the delivery company: if it’s a text, it will often come from a random mobile phone number, and a fake email will often come from a email address that does not look like a legitimate company email. .
- Do not enter any personal information: A legitimate company will not ask you for personal information to schedule a new delivery.
- Treat any unexpected requests for money to request delivery with suspicion.
Other ways to protect yourself against online scams
There are other risks that consumers face and it is important that protective measures be considered. It may be helpful for households to apply some basic rules.
Some ideas include:
- Stick with trusted companies and always check online reviews.
- If an offer feels ‘too good to be true’, it usually is. Beware of anything that feels too cheap; there is usually a reason for this.
- Always use secure sites with “HTTPS” in the web address.
- Never give out your passwords, PINs, or bank account numbers.
- Never pay by bank transfer and be wary if you are asked to do so.
- Use different “strong” passwords for different accounts, as this will help protect your information in data breaches.
- When entering sensitive information or making online purchases while away from home, try using your network data instead of less secure public Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – delete them.
- Rather than clicking on links in online advertisements, it may be safer to visit retailer websites directly.
Also, it is helpful to install security software such as antivirus and two-factor authentication. This type of software is usually available for free. In addition, consumers should keep all security software and operating systems up to date.