This year, online holiday shopping is set to increase 10-12% from 2021, accounting for roughly 260 billion in sales according to CNN Business. However, an increase in sales also means an increase in scams: nonpayment and nondelivery scams took over 337 million from consumers in 2021 according to the FBI’s Internet and Crime report of 2021.
The two most common scams, nondelivery and nonpayment scams, occur when either a consumer doesn’t receive a good they paid for or conversely, the seller ships out but isn’t paid for a good sold. Additionally, hackers can harvest your information through fake websites made to look like the official Amazon or Target pages. Even clicking on a link that appears to be from Ebay can be malicious and steal your sensitive information.
Here’s How To Practice Good Cyber Hygiene
- Avoid Suspicious Emails Phishing links and emails are one of the primary ways to compromise your personal information as a consumer. Avoid order personal items with your Fordham email address and if you do receive suspicious emails regarding your tracking number, order refunds, or account updates, feel free to use the Cofense Gmail Reporter to report potentially malicious emails to IT. Read more about phishing here.
- Be Careful How You Pay A reputable vender will never ask for a direct wire transfer. Do not send prepaid gift cards to sellers as they can take out all the money on the gift cards instead of just the price listed on the website. Cash transfer apps like Zelle and Cashapp do not have purchase protection and aren’t federally insured, so if you do get scammed, its harder to get refunded. If using Venmo or PayPal turn on purchase protection.
- Monitor Your Payment & The Shipping Process Use a credit card when shopping online and check your statement/mobile banking app regularly. If you see a suspicious transaction, contact your credit card company to dispute the charge. Also, always get tracking numbers for items you buy online, so you can make sure they have been shipped and can follow the delivery process.