Monday, February 1, 2016
With Valentine’s Day coming up, you may be getting online to order a treat for your sweetie. Or perhaps you're looking to treat yourself! No matter who you're shopping for, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your computer and wallet are protected from online scams.
If you see on Facebook or receive an email, teasing electronic greeting cards, be careful and review the offer. Claims of a courier delivery problem and “love giveaway” may be hiding malware that’s unleashed once you click on the detail-promising link. A legitimate e-card will provide a confirmation code to safely view it at a recognized card company website. On that note, don’t open e-cards from your personal computer either. Courier services won’t have your email unless you provided it. Freebie offers on social media and spam emails are typically too good to be true, so it’s best to just avoid them.
Before clicking on links in emails with offers or on a website, carefully read website addresses you may be redirected to. This can help you spot copycat websites selling something that isn’t from the company you may think it is. You can check this by hovering your computer mouse over the link, without clicking, to see its “real” address. If you are more comfortable with copying and pasting, you can copy and paste the link into a Word document, then right-click on the pasted link and select “Edit Hyperlink” from the menu for a pop-up window that should display, in the “Address” field, the Web address to which the link directs you.
Frequently, after placing an order for that delectable box of chocolates or floral arrangement, a confirmation email is sent to the email address you specify. This is helpful but it is important to read the email closely and verify the address which the email comes from. Make sure the email is coming from the company you ordered from or the company who is processing your order. Generally, when you place the order, if a third party is processing the order, there will be a message indicating that.
Check for spelling errors or incorrect grammar. We all know mistakes can happen, but if there are common misspellings like the company name or sentences just don’t make sense, it’s not from a reputable company.
By following these tips, you'll save yourself the headache of crafty online scammers. Have a safe and happy Valentine’s Day!