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Here's how to stay safe with your online shopping.

  • DO your homework. Before entering your credit card information, take time to research the website and its policies.
  • DON’T buy from spammers. If you get an email inviting you to buy something like “Discounted Rolex’s” you should think two things: 1) spam and 2) possible scam.
  • Do consider contacting the seller if this is your first purchase. Most reputable e-sellers have a toll-free customer service phone number. This will assure you that a live person is available if needed after the sale
  • DO buy from a website that has encryption. This feature automatically codes your personal data when it’s entered. The URL should start with “HTTPS”, “HTTP” is not secure. Also locate the “Padlock” icon to verify a secure connection. Click on the “Padlock” icon to view more information about the site’s security.
  • DON’T buy from a web site with which you aren’t totally comfortable. Just remember: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
  • DO use computer security software. Keep your software updated by applying the latest service packs and patches. Refer to your operating system’s help for assistance. This will reduce the risk of contracting a virus or some other form of malware.
  • DON’T forget to inspect your new purchase as soon as it arrives. If you find a problem, it’s easier to fix right away. Notify the seller as soon as possible.
  • DO check your credit card statements. Check your statements regularly so you know when something’s awry.