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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , online shopping,   

    Your old credit card numbers may still be online 

    Your old credit card numbers may still be online

    When you use any one of many online retailers they may ask you if you want to save your payment information with them in case you use that vendor on a frequent basis. This can be quite convenient especially if it’s a vendor that you use all the time. However, with many things online, convenience can come at a cost of security. If you use the vendor long enough, you may have changed your credit or debit card information several times. Each of those card numbers could still be listed in your online account. Even if the numbers have expired they could still mean potential disaster for you.

    According to LifeHacker, there is a scam that relies on you leaving your old card numbers on your online accounts. For example, they talk about how if an Amazon account becomes compromised a bad actor may find old and expired card numbers linked to the account. Scammers will then try the expired numbers to see if they can still be used to make online purchases. Some card companies allow their users to make purchases even if the card is expired in case the user has just forgotten to update their information. The scammers know which cards and which vendors have more liberal policies when it comes to these purchases.

    In some cases, these purchases can show up on your doorstep. The scammers will normally keep an eye on your porch to try to grab the purchase but sometimes just knowing that the old card number works is enough. The best way to prevent this kind of fraud is to make sure that you delete your old card numbers from your online shopping accounts. It’s also recommended that you use only one card for all your online purchases as it makes it easier to keep track of any discrepancies. There are also services you can use that give you one-time use numbers that you can use for online purchases. It would mean you’d have to enter a new number with each purchase but sometimes it’s worth going the extra mile to keep your information secure.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , online shopping, ,   

    That missed delivery might be a fake 

    That missed delivery might be a fake

    Even with the holiday season over a number of us will still continue to make purchases online throughout the year. We will also be checking our email to make sure our packages are being delivered on time. We might even go to the websites of the US Postal Service or whatever delivery service the vendor is using to see exactly where are packages are at this moment. Leave it to the scammers to prey on our fear of missing our deliveries to try and inject yet another scam into our lives.

    Once again, the Better Business Bureau is warning us about a pair of scams that are targeting online shoppers. In the first scam, you’ll be sent an email that looks like it came from a vendor claiming that the package is undeliverable. You’ll be asked to click on a link to resolve the issue where your computer could be infected with malware. The other scam is a little more analog. Scammers will put a notice on your front door claiming that they tried to deliver a package and will ask you to call to reschedule the delivery. When you call, the scammers will try to get your personal information.

    The BBB recommends that if you receive one of these notices on your door, never give any personal information to the scammers. Delivery companies will never need to know your Social Security or credit card numbers. If you receive one of these phishing emails, hover the cursor over the link to see exactly where the link might be taking you. And if there is an actual problem with delivery, go directly to the delivery service’s website instead of clicking the link in the email. This will go a long way in keeping your information more secure.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: free gas, hitman, online shopping, ,   

    When the hitman texts 

    When the hitman texts

    In Maine, police are warning residents about a scam involving text messages. In this scam, the victim receives a text stating that they’re being targeted by a hitman. The text goes on to say that if the victim doesn’t respond in 48 hours they will be killed. The report doesn’t entail what the endgame of this scam is but we would imagine that it’s designed to extort money from its victims. Most people living in the US don’t ever have to worry about being the target of an actual hitman. It’s also unlikely that an actual hitman would ever divulge his intentions through texting. If you were to receive one of these texts you should not respond and contact your local police.

    In Ohio, the local branch of the Better Business Bureau is reporting about an online shopping scam that could cost you a lot of money. In this scam, a shady website will instruct you to pay through PayPal. You’ll then receive an email with your shipping information like you normally would. However, the shady merchant has changed the delivery address. This way it looks like the merchandise has been delivered, just not to you. According to the BBB, PayPal has been reluctant to issue any refunds because the packages have all been marked as delivered.

    In the Nashville, Tennessee area, residents there have said they’ve been seeing social media messages that promise them free gas if they text a certain phone number. People who have texted the number have reported that they’ve received a message that their phones had been hacked. While free or discounted gas promotions aren’t unheard of, they’re usually more trouble than they’re worth. However, just because a message is circulated on social media, that doesn’t make it true no matter how good the offer may sound.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , online shopping, , ,   

    Is your city in the porch pirates’ top 10? 

    Is your city in the porch pirates' top 10?

    Another type of Grinch that wants to ruin your holiday season is the heartless porch pirate. This is the term used for thieves who will steal package deliveries straight from your porch or mailbox. With more and more people eschewing brick and mortar stores for online Christmas shopping, the problem of stolen packages is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s gotten so bad that there’s not a lot of what police departments can do once a package is stolen. If you’ve had a package stolen from your porch, you may think that your city is the worst. However, a study done by a home security company claims to have found the top ten cities where porch pirates are most prolific.

    According to home security company Safewise, they have looked at not only FBI statistics but also web searches for things like stolen or missing packages. They’ve determined that the top ten cities and metro areas for porch pirates are San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Portland, Baltimore, Seattle-Tacoma, Chicago, Austin, Denver, L.A., and Sacramento. Not surprisingly, a number of these cities are large tech hubs where more people tend to buy things online than in stores. Also, California is more represented on this list than any other state.

    It’s better to prevent porch theft than it is to try to recover a stolen package. While a doorbell camera or home security camera may catch the thieves in the act, it doesn’t seem to discourage them from stealing your deliveries. Instead of having packages left at your doorstep, you may want to consider having them delivered to your place of work, or to a neighbor’s house who is home more often. With their permission, of course. You may also want to consider renting a post office box at your local mail supply store. Not only does this give you a street address to use for deliveries, but they can also sign for packages for you. If you’re having an item shipped directly, try to have it delivered at a time when someone will definitely be home. Also, the US Postal Service has many free services available to you to prevent porch piracy such as having your mail held so you can pick it up at the post office.

    Just a few preventative steps will help you have a theft-free Christmas.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , online shopping,   

    Homeland Security warns of counterfeits for Christmas 

    Homeland Security warns of counterfeits for Christmas

    If you’re looking for a very special Christmas present like a Louis Vuitton bag or a Rolex watch, you have to traverse through the minefield that are counterfeit goods. More often than not, when buying a well-known luxury brand item you’ll have to deal more with fakes then you will the genuine article. Besides being possibly ripped off, the high-end counterfeit goods market has been linked to every type of criminal activity from human trafficking to organized crime and funding terrorism. In the past year alone, the Department of Homeland Security has confiscated over $500 million in counterfeit goods.

    DHS has issued a warning about these phony products flooding the market during the holiday shopping season. They say to beware of websites offering deep discounts for normally expensive items as that’s a good indicator that the products are knock offs. A number of these sites offering these goods could also be just a front to gain your financial information and not even send you a product. DHS also wants people to know that knowingly buying a counterfeit product is also a federal offense and could land not only the seller but the buyer in jail as well.

    If you’re looking to buy these products first-hand, then only deal with reputable merchants and keep all the documentation that comes with it including receipts and confirmation emails. If you’re buying these items second-hand, any person selling these items should have all the documentation that goes along with them as they’re a common form of confirmation of the item’s authenticity. Some second-hand markets even have authenticity programs for high-end goods in order to try to prevent fraud. And while it may be fun to own a knock-off as a form of entertainment, keep in mind that buying one is not only illegal but you never really know where your money is going or what it’s funding.

    So, to keep everybody safe and happy during the holiday season, only buy genuine.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , online shopping, ,   

    How to avoid online Black Friday scams 

    How to avoid online Black Friday scams

    In the past, we’ve advised against going to brick and mortar retailers on Black Friday. Not just for safety reasons but also because many retailers engage in misleading business practices by using limited stock to try o get you to buy more expensive items. Usually, these so-called doorbuster deals can be found for the same price or lower later into the holiday shopping season. In the past few years, we’ve advised shopping online rather than braving the crowds on Black Friday. However, even online Black Friday shopping comes with its own pitfalls.

    While many of the big-name online retailers are safe to shop through, scammers will try to trick you into believing you’re using one of those retailers, but it reality you may not be. Scammers will send out phishing emails using the actual logos of famous shopping sites but will leave a link in the email that will take you to a phony site that resembles the real thing. They’ll then try to gain your financial information for possible identity theft and other potential abuses. Along the same vein, scammers will pose as retailers and send you an email asking you to download something in order to get a deal. This will instead infect your device with malware which could allow bad actors to access your device remotely and steal as much information as they want from it. Always go directly to a retailer’s website rather than clicking on anything in an email.

    As the video above mentions, if at all possible, use a credit card over a debit card when making purchases. While both debit and credit cards offer protection against scam purchases, credit cards have better protections and won’t take any money directly from your bank balance. Also, keep an eye on both your debit and credit card accounts to make sure that no unauthorized purchases have been made on them. Many of these services can be set up to send you a notification every time the account is used. While the notifications may be a bit annoying, they can go a long way in preventing fraud on your accounts.

    And as always, keep in mind that gift cards are the currency of scammers and you could be ripped off in a number of ways when buying gift cards. You can check our previous post here about what to look out for when buying gift cards.

    Once again, we wish you a happy and headache-free holiday season.

     
  • Geebo 11:57 am on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , online shopping,   

    More consumers sat out Black Friday this year, opting for online shopping 

    More consumer sat out Black Friday this year opting for online shopping

    It seems that a number people took our advice, as a record number of people decided to sit out the Black Friday drama in brick and mortar stores this year. According to several financial indicators, more people decided to shop online during Black Friday than years past, with a record amount being spent just from mobile devices alone.

    Just purely based on anecdotal evidence it sure did feel like a different Black Friday from years past. As near as we can tell there weren’t the same number of soul crushing stories about consumerism turned violent as there have been in years past. Let’s not forget than when the term Black Friday was first coined it was not meant as a compliment but as a harbinger of doom.

    This isn’t to say that brick and mortar stores don’t have their uses. I’m sure most of us have been in that situation where we needed an emergency item at 3 in the morning. Until automated online retailers can teleport orders to consumers instantly, the brick and mortar stores will still be needed, however there are options now available to keep people from committing heinous acts in the name of holiday savings.

     
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