How to avoid cyber thieves this Christmas

Font Size:

Avoiding the crowds at shopping centres is just one of the reasons many of us prefer to shop online at Christmas time. But be warned, Christmas is also a time when online cybercriminals go to work!

Scammers can create fake retailer websites that look like legitimate online retail stores. They can use sophisticated designs such as stolen logos, ‘.com.au’ domain names and even stolen Australian Business Numbers.

The big giveaway is that cybercriminals will typically ask you to pay by money order, pre-loaded payment card or wire transfer.

Be warned: if you pay this way, it’s highly likely you’ll never see your money again or the item you just ‘bought’.

Be wary when buying products from online auction websites. Don’t deal with people who ask to negotiate or complete a transaction outside the website – no matter what the reason. Check seller reviews, typically shown by scores and comments, before closing any deal.

This advice extends to online classified websites. These offer goods and services but allow sellers and potential buyers to negotiate a price outside the website. Scammers may pretend to be genuine sellers and post fake ads that advertise products for a much cheaper price than similar items advertised on the same site.

What to look out for
Here are some of the ways you can keep yourself safe when shopping online this Christmas:

  • Look for a closed padlock icon and ‘https://’ in the address bar at the top of the page. The safest way to access any website is to type the web address directly into the browser. This will help ensure you don’t get directed to fraudulent websites that pretend to be shopping sites.
  • When shopping online only use secure payment services such as your credit card or PayPal. Don’t use wire or account transfers or other unusual payment methods.
  • Always log out of any shopping session when you finish and close the browser.
  • Create strong passwords – at least 12 characters long, using a ‘passphrase’.
  • Keep your operating system, web browser and anti-virus software up-to-date by ensuring automatic updates are enabled or installed as soon as they are available.
  • Always enable two-factor authentication whenever it’s offered. It simply means there are two checks in place to prove your identity. An example is when you enter a password and a code is sent to your mobile phone. PayPal and most banks offer it.
  • Avoid doing any online shopping using public Wi-Fi networks. These public networks can be prime spots for phishing where a criminal steals sensitive information for malicious reasons.
  • Be extremely cautious in dealing with new or unknown retail websites, particularly if they are advertising products and services at extremely low prices. These may be scam websites set up to steal your money or identity details.
  • Check the store’s refund or returns policy. The better online shopping and auction sites have detailed complaint or dispute-handling processes in case something goes wrong.
  • Pay for goods from online classified websites only when you have seen or received them.

What to do if you get scammed
Contact your bank straight away and discuss the best option, which is often replacing cards or resetting online access.

Most big banks offer guarantees that they will cover any loss due to unauthorised transactions on your account, as long as you did not contribute to the loss, you protected your devices and passwords, and you let them know as soon as it happened.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

Join
By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

RELATED LINKS

One in four Australians hit by cyber thieves

In Stay Smart Online Week, make sure you follow these safety tips.

How banks know when your card has been hacked

Banks can't fight online credit card fraud alone, and neither can you.

Data breaches makes it vital you follow this advice

Jump in data breaches means it's vital you follow this advice.

Written by Ben

2 Comments

Total Comments: 2
  1. 0
    0

    I opened an account and logged it with Paypal this way only PayPal has my account number, and if things go wrong on rare accession they refound my money I keep my card in a metal case hopefully it will be safe I suppose nothing is perfect

  2. 0
    0

    I precisely had to thank you so much once more. I’m not certain the things I would’ve worked on without those strategies shared by you directly on such a subject. Entirely was a very depressing case in my position, nevertheless seeing this skilled technique you solved it took me to cry with delight. I will be happier for your work and pray you recognize what an amazing job you were accomplishing instructing many people through the use of your website. I am sure you have never encountered all of us.


FACEBOOK COMMENTS



SPONSORED LINKS

continue reading

Health news

Australians want to die at home - but do we achieve that goal?

How do you want to die? More than 70 per cent of Australians want the end to come at home,...

Retirement

Rise in 'grey divorces' sparks warning from legal experts

More Australians are divorcing later in life, leading to "unique, confusing and overwhelming" challenges for couples aged over 50. The...

Entertainment

Friday Funnies: Short jokes for the shortest month

February flies by too fast, just like these short but sharp jokes. What is the recipe for Honeymoon Salad?Lettuce alone...

Health

The four types of hearing loss explained

Research indicates that one in six Australians has some form of hearing loss.  Hearing loss refers to reduced hearing, which...

Dinner

Fabulous Fish Pie

It should go without saying that a fish pie needs to have lots of big chunks of fish in it,...

Food

Succulent Spice-Roasted Salmon

These little salmon bites are something I've made time and time again over the years and this method of roasting...

Photos

How to take great pictures of gardens

If you've never been too good at taking pictures of your beautiful blooms, now's the time to brush up on...

Aged Care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting aged care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting the quality of aged care Ben Farr-Wharton, Edith Cowan University; Matthew...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...