Cybersecurity during the shutdown: Fishy websites
Most of the states in our country have issued stay-at-home orders, which means if you want to find supplies to support your organization’s mission, you probably need to do so online. But be careful, because almost anyone can set up a website and claim to be a legitimate store. Here are a few tips for making smart decisions online:
It is safer to buy from a retailer than a third-party seller.
These days, items such as hand sanitizer and paper products are in short supply. Some third-party sellers may try to gouge prices.
Check the site’s return policy.
It should be clearly stated on the website. If it’s hard to find, that may be a red flag.
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Learn the going rate for the product you’re buying so you know what to expect. Make sure you understand shipping costs and other fees so you aren’t surprised by a bigger bill than you anticipated.
Research the seller.
Search online for the company’s name, phone number and email address. In your search, include the words “review” or “scam.”
Don’t wire money, send cash or write a check. If companies use your credit card without permission, you are generally only liable for the first $50 in charges.
Check your credit card statements regularly.
Make sure you are aware of all charges.
Do not buy products advertised to prevent or treat COVID-19.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any products associated with this disease, and any company that says it has such products is making fraudulent claims.
Ignore pop-up messages.
Any such message that asks for your financial information is a scam. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information that way.
Online scammers have been doing business for many years, and they will continue to fool people into giving them important information. Keep on the lookout for anything fishy, and you’ll stay safe.
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