Vernon RCMP offers tips to help avoid online shopping scams

Shop safe online, say police

Vernon RCMP are offering advice to online shoppers this holiday season.

Online shopping can be a convenient way to quickly cross names off your list, says Const. Chris Terleski.

But consumers need to provide personal details like their name, address and credit card information – and that's why police advise the following steps to ensure transactions are as secure and to safeguard personal and financial information.

  • Secure websites display a closed padlock in the web address bar. Open or missing padlocks mean the data isn’t secure
  • Avoid making purchases on public Wi-Fi and shop using your own data connection or through a virtual privacy network (VPN)
  • Avoid sites that are poorly designed or have poor graphics, they are likely a spoof
  • Shop around retailers before purchasing. If an offer seems to good to be true, it probably is
  • Checkout as a guest to avoid saving your personal information
  • Utilize multi-factor authentication such as a pin or a fingerprint to verify login
  • Use passphrases instead of passwords where possible
  • Monitor your bank accounts and credit card statements regularly, watch for and report any suspicious activity or transactions as soon as possible to your financial institutions

Consumers should pay attention to the sites they’re visiting and be on the lookout for anything that seems out of the ordinary.

"Knowing what to look for, what to avoid, and trusting instincts will help keep people safe this holiday season," Terleski says.

"If it seems suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is."

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