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Online Shopping May Not Be For Me…

March 27, 2011

I’m not much of a shopper. When it comes to clothes I usually ask the salesperson to give me what the mannequin in the window is wearing in my sizes. I’m in and out real quick..and possibly look like a store mannequin. When it comes to electronics, I buy what my computer guy tells me and this is after he sends me the link. I did by online flowers once for my partner and when they were opened they looked moments away from dying… My kids like “checks” so shopping for them is easy. But with the various online traps that are in the cloud, one needs to be very careful. The bad guys are getting smarter, but us shoppers can stay a step ahead.

  • Select your own seller. If you’re looking for a particular item, don’t let a search engine pick a site for you – go to a price – comparison site, such as PriceGrabber.com or Dealio.com. That’s because hackers seed search results with fraudulent sites that phish for your personal information. Even if you are using a site that you think is legitimate, look for a security labels, such as Verigsin or Cybertrust.
  • Shop at home. Never make purchases online using a public Wi-Fi connection. Hackers can tap into Wi-Fi connections at hot spots, such as coffee shops, airports and hotels to capture your personal information.
  • Pay with plastic. And make sure you use a credit card. If a hacker steals your debit card information and uses it to make unauthorized purchases, you must report any misuse within two days of learning of the fraud to get the same $50 limited liability you would get with a credit card. Miss that deadline but report your loss within 60 days, your liability is limited to $500. After 60 days your liability is unlimited.
  • Transfer with care. Wiring money by Western Union to pay for a purchase is also a bad idea. You’re inviting fraud because you have no way to get your money back if the item you buy never arrives. And if you are making a large purchase, such as a car, and the seller tries to steer you to a particular escrow company to handle the transaction, be suspicious.
  • Read your card bill. If you do a lot of shopping online, review your credit card accounts regularly to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized purchases.
  • Beware of bogus bargains. If a website or individual offers a deal that’s off-the-charts cheap, demands a direct transfer of funds and won’t accept credit cards, it’s probably a scam.

My mother-in-law still write checks on a regular basis. It is fun to watch her pay for dinner while she writes out a check and figures in the tip… GAI (www.gunwel.com) is very aware of financial issues and our job is to help you with all matters financial. You work hard for your money, let us work smart to help you keep it. Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit as we’d love to hear your shopping stories and see what you’ve bought. See you soon!

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One Comment leave one →
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