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Steps to Take to Avoid Online Fraud
- Deal with reputable companies (companies you already know from their retail stores, mail order catalogs or other services).
- Only give out information that is necessary for the transaction.
- Before you type in your credit card or sensitive information, be sure the site is encrypted. This is shown by either:
"Start with small and inexpensive purchases to see how the company handles your order" - bbbonline.org
Create unique passwords - don't use your date of birth, social security number or recognizable words. One strategy for creating and remembering passwords is to come up with a
phrase that only you would remember. For example, the phrase "I was married
on June 24 in Finland," would result in the password
"iwmoj24if" by using the first letter of each word in the phrase. This
password includes both letters and numbers and will be more difficult to
guess. Another easy way to remember a combination of these is to take the
first letter of a favorite song or phrase, for example "Old McDonald Had a
Farm" could be "omhaf."
Never disclose your password to anyone, even customer service representatives.
Never send sensitive information by email as it can by easily intercepted.
Make sure you are on the Web site of the company that you want to do business with. Online crooks can create Web site names (URL's) very similar to those of legitimate companies.
- A closed lock on the bottom or your screen.
- An unbroken key on the bottom of your screen.
- The prefix https:// instead of http:// in the URL.
Check company policies.
Print and keep information for your records.
Never send cash, as it does not create a record of your payment.
Regularly check your checking and credit card accounts to ensure that there are no errors or unauthorized charges.
Understand your responsibilities if your credit card information is used fraudulently.
- To check whether the site you are on is that of a legitimate company visit www.whois.net which tells you who has registered the URL and the physical address of the company.