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Shopping Online Safely

Identity Theft News

Shopping Online Safely

The number of online shoppers in the United States is projected to surpass 200 million in 2015. The ease and convenience of shopping from just about anywhere, avoiding crowds and not having to find a place to park are just a few things that make shopping on a retailer’s website an attractive option.

However, with convenience comes caution. Concerns about payment data security and other personal information makes some consumers shy about conducting their shopping via the internet. The following tips, if practiced, can bring about a sense of security while conducting online transactions:

Take steps to shop safely

1. Be Choosy. Don’t click indiscriminately on a link that you find in an unsolicited email or pop-up advertisement. Choose only well-known websites that have an address that starts with “https” when you get to the point of providing your payment information during the purchase process.

2. Be Precise. When navigating to a particular retailer’s website, make sure you have the exact web address. Some thieves have purchased website names that are very similar to a reputable website with the hopes that shoppers will find the fraudulent website instead. Trying to shop on the fraudulent site could lead to theft of personal information or not getting what you think you are purchasing.

3. Be Skeptical. Did you find some fantastic deal that you haven’t seen anywhere else? Beware! Ads for the season’s “hot” item, especially at a ridiculously good price, could actually be a scheme to get you to click on a link or approve a download that brings with it a virus or other trouble.

4. Be Unique. It is dangerous to use the same password for all of your online accounts. Why? If one of the accounts you access online is breached, the unauthorized intruder might acquire your password. They can then try to use the same password on other sites you use which might include other shopping sites or your checking account or credit card accounts. Use different passwords for each of your online accounts.

5. Be Thorough. Keep a record of all your purchases and the websites where each purchase was made. Save receipts, confirmation email messages, etc. Make note of how you paid for each item and then check the account to make sure only the authorized charge went through.

 A service of the Investigators of Kroll These materials are derived from the research and discovery activities of Kroll Fraud Specialists and Licensed Investigators, and have been gathered from personal, historical, and aggregated experience performing specialized restoration services on behalf of Identity Theft victims. While believed to be accurate, these materials do not constitute legal advice, and are not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up-to-date. No part of this document may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into a language or computer language, in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, optical, chemical, manual or otherwise, without the express written consent of Kroll. These materials are provided for informational purposes only. MEM-104-2014-12-04

 

The number of online shoppers in the United States is projected to surpass 200 million in 2015. The ease and convenience of shopping from just about anywhere, avoiding crowds and not having to find a place to park are just a few things that make shopping on a retailer’s website an attractive option.

However, with convenience comes caution. Concerns about payment data security and other personal information makes some consumers shy about conducting their shopping via the internet. The following tips, if practiced, can bring about a sense of security while conducting online transactions:

Take steps to shop safely

1. Be Choosy. Don’t click indiscriminately on a link that you find in an unsolicited email or pop-up advertisement. Choose only well-known websites that have an address that starts with “https” when you get to the point of providing your payment information during the purchase process.

2. Be Precise. When navigating to a particular retailer’s website, make sure you have the exact web address. Some thieves have purchased website names that are very similar to a reputable website with the hopes that shoppers will find the fraudulent website instead. Trying to shop on the fraudulent site could lead to theft of personal information or not getting what you think you are purchasing.

3. Be Skeptical. Did you find some fantastic deal that you haven’t seen anywhere else? Beware! Ads for the season’s “hot” item, especially at a ridiculously good price, could actually be a scheme to get you to click on a link or approve a download that brings with it a virus or other trouble.

4. Be Unique. It is dangerous to use the same password for all of your online accounts. Why? If one of the accounts you access online is breached, the unauthorized intruder might acquire your password. They can then try to use the same password on other sites you use which might include other shopping sites or your checking account or credit card accounts. Use different passwords for each of your online accounts.

5. Be Thorough. Keep a record of all your purchases and the websites where each purchase was made. Save receipts, confirmation email messages, etc. Make note of how you paid for each item and then check the account to make sure only the authorized charge went through.

IDShield Investigator Insights: Social Media

April 20, 2017

Sharing on Social Media Today Can Impact Your Future

Many of us can’t remember life before social media. How did we make it through the day without our friends telling us how they were feeling or posting pictures of what they had for lunch?

 

While it seems like social media sites have been around forever, the first, Six Degrees, launched only 20 years ago, making social media a relatively new means of staying in touch. As social animals, our desire to connect with others is great, and social media, along with the proliferation of mobile devices, makes it easy to do. Since we like to think we can trust our friends, it’s easy to let our guard down when we’re commenting on a Facebook post or sharing vacation photos on Instagram.

 

IDShield Investigator Tips: Social Media

April 20, 2017

When It Comes to Staying Safe on Social Media, Listen to Your Mother

Twenty-one percent of adult internet users have had an email or social media account compromised.1 Applying some old-fashioned words of wisdom to our modern online lives can help prevent it from happening to you. Here are some tips from the Investigators at Kroll:

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Danger Lurks Where Technology Intersects Public Safety

April 13, 2017

It’s 3 a.m., and you are awakened by the sounds of sirens blaring outside. All of the cell phones in your house start to chirp, and when you look down, you see an emergency notification with a warning to evacuate immediately. The alert says to head north and that all major roads will be used as one-way streets to enable a rapid evacuation. Twenty miles north of your town the same thing is happening, except in this case, the warning is telling everyone that they should head south.

Simple Steps to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

March 17, 2017

Despite the fact that the U.S. Director of National Intelligence ranked cybercrime as the No. 1 national security threat, very few Americans take real steps to protect themselves, their family and their businesses against identity theft.

As the head of a company that helps consumers protect themselves from this issue, I've become increasingly aware of its perils, and how it impacts millions of people each year. I see identity theft as a growing epidemic that warrants immediate action. There are a number of simple steps to take, and some may seem obvious, but many people choose not to address the issue with preventive measures. How often do you back up personal and corporate computers, check your credit report and statements, or update your virus protection software?

When Consumers Get Smart, Scammers Get Smarter

March 16, 2017

So you think you’re pretty smart when it comes to scams. You know there is no wealthy Nigerian prince who needs money to escape – and there’s certainly no reward for sending him your hard-earned cash. You’re careful to not click on links or open attachments from email addresses you do not recognize. But as consumers become more aware, scammers become more savvy. They know we live online and on our phones, and they use both to get even the most wary individuals to fall for their scams. However, there are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.

 

When it comes to phone scams, be smart with these tips:

Stay Calm and Trust No One: Protecting Yourself Against Scammers

March 16, 2017

Tax scams grab a lot of identity theft headlines, and for good reason: the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises that 25 percent of reported scams in 2016 were related to tax issues. But there’s more than one way to scam a consumer, and scammers are constantly thinking up new and more sophisticated ways to lure in victims. According to the BBB, last year’s fastest growing scams included:

 

Online Purchase Scams

These may involve sites selling fake merchandise, as well as sites that aren’t selling anything at all. By the time your “designer” duds have arrived, or you realize you’ll never get what you paid for, the scammers have your money as well as your name, address and credit card information, which is what they are really after.

 

Employment Scams