Identifying Internet Fraud through Purchases

The attraction of online shopping is hard not to ignore. By purchasing your favorite item online you avoid the rush of people in stores especially during the festive season. Instead of trudging from one store to the other, you just change the URL in your internet browser to go to another online store. The ease at which you can examine various products from the comfort of your home causes you to buy more from online portals.

Internet fraud is becoming rampant with the increase in online shopping. Innocent shoppers fail to put checks and balances in place to prevent theft by online thieves. There are various ways by which you can protect yourself from being affected by internet crime while making purchases online.

Maintain an online diary to record internet transactions. Note the names of the sites that you buy from and record the amount of your transactions. Compare the list with your credit card statement to identify any new transactions. If you are unable to identify a particular transaction get in touch with your credit card company immediately. Sometimes, credit card companies are proactive and contact you if they see any transactions which they may consider suspicious.

Another good way to maintain control over internet transactions is to dedicate a credit card for purchasing products online. If any internet transactions have been made with another credit card it should immediately trigger an alarm. It can also work the other way round where any non-internet transactions have been charged to the card which you use for internet payments.

Always buy from reputed sites and established sellers. If you do not know the seller, check feedback pertaining to the seller online and browse the web for any complaints related to the seller. The way a site looks cannot be an indicator of its trustworthiness – an attractive site can be produced by a web designer within minutes. It may be better to avoid sellers who are based in countries that are known to have a high level of internet fraud. A good way to ensure safety is to look for the padlock sign next to the URL before buying online.

Check for updates to your anti-virus software so that you do not become victim to a hacker’s virus when you visit a site for the purpose of buying something online.

A common method of internet fraud is through phishing where someone posing as a representative of your bank will mail you a link for you to login and update or confirm certain details which may be required to be done immediately. When you log in unsuspectingly your password will be stolen through the use of key logging software. If you receive a mail from your bank call them up to make sure that it’s indeed your bank that has mailed you. Never login through links in your mail – type the site URL directly into your web browser and log in.

You can also avail of the services of fraud detection services. Experienced fraud detectors allocate a score to every transaction and will immediately inform you if they notice something peculiar. They also conduct thorough checks of each transaction including internet details like email addresses and geographical factors like location and physical addresses. If you pay for such services they have plans which provide you with as many details as you require depending on the level of protection that you are looking for.

Last but not the least, use your common sense. If you receive a mail informing you that a wealthy dowager has left you a fortune even though you had never heard of her before, know that it’s too good to be true.