The holidays mean a surge in online purchases done with laptops, cell phones, tablets and desktops.

4DOne way to be scammed is via pop-ups (on legitimate sites, but that are not connected to the site) that ask for a survey. After you complete it, you’re offered what seems like a free product. You then unknowingly set yourself up to be enrolled in a program to purchase more products—after giving your credit card information.

It’s easy to get sidetracked by pop-ups, says iovation’s Jon Karl, VP of Corporate Development in Portland. But he asks: “Who is that business on the other end of the line; do you know them? Because there’s lots of opportunities to spend your money with somebody you don’t know.” iovation is one of the biggest online fraud protection companies in the world.

“You have to be really careful when you’re clicking on offers that are coming to you,” he adds. Shoppers should be skeptical and limit how much personal information they give out. “You really should only have to give them the data that’s necessary to get a product to you. So, your name, your address and the information for your credit card.”

Avoid doing business with any retailer that requests your Social Security number or even birthdate.

Another tip from Karl is to online shop only with a credit card (not debit card or electronic check), as this offers protection for purchases gone awry.

More Tips

  • Do business only with companies you’re familiar with.
  • If you’re not sure about a company, seek out some reviews.
  • Ignore pop-up advertisements.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247

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