Warning of online Christmas scams

WITH the rise of the internet, Christmas now comes with a whole new range of risks ranging from dodgy online stores to fake, virus-filled, emails.

Summerland Credit Union has released a guide to help Northern Rivers residents stay safe while they deck the digital halls this Christmas.


While shopping online:

When you shop online, make sure you are smart about the whole purchasing process-know who you are dealing with, know what you are buying, be confident you will get what you have paid for, and ensure that your account and credit card details are being dealt with safely.

Most shoppers know the warning signs to look for when buying something in a shop-the same applies to shopping online. Be wary if:

  • the website looks suspicious or unprofessional
  • the website is offering bargains which look too good to be true
  • you are not confident about the use of your information or that you will get what you pay for.

When making a payment online:

  • only pay via a secure web page (one that has a valid digital certificate)-look for the https at the beginning of the address bar and a locked padlock in the browser
  • use a secure payment method such as PayPal, BPay, or your credit card (avoid money transfers and direct debit, as these can be open to abuse)
  • never send your bank or credit card details via email-only via a secure web page
  • always print and keep a copy of the transaction.

Opening e-cards and emails and following links:

If you receive a Festive Season e-card, email or link in a social networking site, you need to be careful.

Before opening any emails or attachments, be sure you know the source.

A good rule of thumb is, if you're unsure of who's sending an email, link or e-card, delete it!

If you receive an email or link that is suspicious, don't reply, don't open any attachment and don't click on any links. Doing so may result in malicious software or a virus being installed on your online device.

Check and make sure that you have up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware installed and set it to scan regularly.

For more information on security patches, as they're released, subscribe to the free National Alert Service.

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