As a consumer within the United States, you have certain consumer rights that are intended to be kept intact by established consumer protection laws.
Here’s what you should know about protecting yourself from consumer fraud when shopping online, what a “consumer protection act” is, and how to get help from a consumer fraud attorney.
Only Shop with Secure Websites
When you shop from a website, the URL should start with “https” rather than “http.” This means that the website has an SSL certificate and is A secure encrypted, allowing you to safely make a financial transaction while protecting your credit or debit card and identifying information.
Never Reuse Usernames and Passwords
The majority of online retailers enable users to create their own accounts on the website. These accounts store identifying information and credit card details in the company’s system.
While retailers also usually allow guest checkout, signing up for an account allows users to easily check the progress of their orders, examine their order history, and quickly reorder products. If you create an account with an online retailer, make sure you use a different username and unique password from any other account you use on any other website.
Using the same login credentials for multiple websites you shop with allows a hacker who cracks the login to one account to have access to them all.
Steer Clear If Asked for Your Social Security Number
There are no legitimate online stores that will ask for your social security number. You will never need to provide your social security information to make a safe financial transaction online for goods or services.
If you are asked for your social security number, you should stop the ordering process and report the website to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Don’t Navigate to External Links in Promo Emails
Phishing scams are often employed by hackers to trick customers into clicking on a link in their email that takes them to a bogus duplicate website. For example, you might get an email for 50% off your entire order at your favorite clothing store. If you click on the promo email link, you’re not taken to the store’s actual website; your click navigates you to the duplicate site instead.
Phishing scams are often employed by hackers to trick customers into clicking on a link in their email that takes them to a bogus duplicate website. For example, you might get an email for 50% off your entire order at your favorite clothing store.
If you click on the promo email link, you’re not taken to the store’s actual website; your click navigates you to the duplicate site instead. Hackers can often imitate a retailer’s website so convincingly that the consumer is completely unaware they were shopping on a fake website until well after the fact.
It’s recommended to never click on promotional links, or any links from unknown sources, when you receive an email from an online retailer. Instead, type the URL straight into your web browser. This allows you to make sure you’re on an SSL secure, authentic website before entering your name, address, and credit card information.
Always Be Wary of a Deal Too Good to Be True
If a deal or promotion seems too good to be true, it almost always is. Trust your instinct and if a transaction seems suspicious because you’re getting the best deal out there by leaps and bounds, think twice before clicking the “submit” button.
Don’t Shop Online Using Publicly Accessible Wi-Fi Connections
Free Wi-Fi connections are appealing to hackers because it’s much easier them to gain access to your mobile device to steal personal identifying information or financial data. Public Wi-Fi providers generally don’t encrypt their networks, and many don’t require a password to log in.
A hacker can easily construct a bogus network, giving them full access to your device and the information stored on it when you connect to their fake duplicate network. Since no password is required, it can be difficult to tell the difference.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit Score
Often, consumer fraud reporting relies on consumers themselves to monitor their own credit scores and speak up when something doesn’t look right or a transaction has occurred that the consumer didn’t make themselves. Consider signing up with a legitimate credit monitoring service that allows you to check your credit frequently or provides monthly reports.
Were You a Victim of Consumer Fraud? Let Our Experienced Consumer Law Attorney for Help
While other countries specifically have legislation in place to protect consumers, like the Consumer Protection Act in India or the Consumer Rights Act of 2015 in the U.K., the United States treats consumer rights a little differently. This is largely due to political lobbying by well-funded corporations.
Often, protecting consumers in America from consumer fraud is a little more difficult because corporations are so frequently given carte blanche to create consumables that haven’t been adequately tested or run false advertisements in order to turn a profit.
Your best chance of a successful consumer defense is to contact an experienced consumer protection lawyer with a specific track record of winning cases similar to your own.
Consumer fraud attorneys Mazow | McCullough, PC can help you navigate the challenges of dealing with fraud and assist you with the many steps you’ll need to take to rectify the situation. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case at (978) 744-8000 (Local) or toll free at (855) 693-9084.