Finance Talk: Tips for safe online shopping

THE digital world has fast become a destination of choice for shoppers, but while the online environment offers convenience and endless variety it also brings with it the growing threat of cyber crime.

According to Scamwatch, Australians collectively lost more than $1.4 million to online shopping scams in 2015.

There are a few simple precautions you can take to ensure you're shopping safely and securely online.

First, ensure the site is secure. Look for https:// at the front of the web address and a padlock displayed on the web browser, which typically indicates that the website has been verified.

If on a mobile app, make sure you have downloaded the retailer's official app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Try to avoid using public computers in libraries and internet kiosks to shop as computers in these locations are at a higher risk of being tampered with and you never know who could be looking over your shoulder.

Always check the validity of emails and advertising from retailers as fraudsters can make extremely convincing fake emails and social media advertisements, prompting you to click on a direct link to a fake version of a website that asks you to enter personal details.

If ever in doubt, simply go directly to the retailer's website.

When making online purchases, we recommend using a Digital Wallet such as Visa Checkout. This allows you to securely store your credit card details without them ever being sent to the retailers. You can learn more about Visa Checkout at http://www.suncorpbank.com.au/visa-checkout.

While the majority of online sellers are legitimate, scammers are exploiting the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off unsuspecting shoppers.

If you suspect a transaction is fraudulent, contact your financial institution immediately.

For all of your banking needs, visit your nearest Suncorp Bank branch or phone 131 175.


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