Take all necessary precautions in e-commerce during Black Friday

Black Friday is just around the corner. Remember that it is the perfect opportunity for scammers to get their hands on your bank details, since we buyers tend to pay less attention to the websites we visit as we rush for the tempting time-limited bargains.

What do we mean by identity theft in banking services? Cybercriminals try to get hold of personal information by different means (emails, websites, SMS, etc.) that appear to be legitimate. They often send an email to the buyer for them to validate or confirm an alleged purchase. Once they have your details, they can use them to purchase banking products in your name or to steal money directly from your accounts and cards.

How can you prevent this? Pay close attention to the URL address of the websites you visit, which should always begin with “https”, especially if you are going to enter your card or payment details. It is good for the website to have e-commerce trust marks. If you are unfamiliar with the website, it can be useful to look for reviews on the internet or on social media. Another option is to make online payments with prepaid cards, which only let you spend what you previously loaded onto the card, or virtual cards, created exclusively for remote transactions.

Be careful with the emails you receive. You should be wary of those trying to scare you and urging you to provide personal information such as your username and password. Check the grammar and spelling as they often contain translation mistakes and badly worded sentences. They usually begin with a generic greeting, such as “Dear customer” or the like, and you will probably be asked to do something urgently on the grounds that your account is going to be cancelled or blocked. They generally include a link to a fake website that looks similar to the official one. Lastly, double-check the email address of the sender, as it often does not belong to who they claim they are.

If your suspicions are confirmed, do not provide information, click on any link or download any attached files. If in doubt, you can forward the email to the company or service purportedly sending it.

If you have unfortunately taken the bait, tell your bank what happened so that it can block the transaction and redress the problem, as far as possible. Next, change the passwords for all the services you use regularly, such as your email, but remember to use different passwords for each one. In addition, it is advisable to file a police report.

There are many other things you can do to prevent cybercrime. Don’t get too confident, stay informed and use your common sense to avoid falling for scams when making online purchases.

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