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Online Identity Theft
Online Identity Theft & Fraud Happens Daily
Online identity theft can happen when you're shopping online for the best deals on items that are just too expensive at your local malls or stores, you can use your credit card to pay so its very convenient. You have come across a item at the Online Store where you frequently purchase from so you place the order. You have entered in all your information along with your credit card information but when you press enter a page shows up telling you that your order was not processed because of a mistake,you figure maybe you entered your credit card number in wrong so you resubmit, the same thing happens. The next day or following day you check your credit card statement online and you see two posts to that same vendor in equal amounts for items that the vendors website says did not process but the money is clearly missing from your account. Now you're angry,you're frustrated,cant reach the vendor and your credit card company is telling you that they cannot cancel the payment because its something the vendor must do. The credit card representative or supervisor tells you that you can file a claim after the vendor receives a payment but you are so sure that the card company should be able to stop the payment on there end. What do you do and would you consider this as stealing? I would and this has happened recently to me on eBay when I tried to purchase electronics from a power seller there who accepts payment through a merchants account.
Now after all the being sent back n forth calling one then the other,I finally had to threaten the vendor to release my funds back to my credit card which he told me he couldnt do the first six times i asked. The last time I threatened to file a police report,eBay report as well as a paypal report and oh how quickly my money was released back to my credit card company within twenty minutes. If i had waited to check my credit card statements I probably would never have been able to get my money back and dont believe i would have been notified by the merchant that the item i was to purchased had been charged twice. Major companies will in fact steal your money thinking of you as just one person who is simply harmless to fight against it, if you wait too long you might as well consider your cash basically lost. Online identity theft has many ways of happening.
This holiday season there will be a lot of shopping done online, in fact online shopping will be on a all time high even with the way the economy is now. You have to protect yourself from Online identity theft in everything you do. I have created a checklist for safe holiday shopping that you can reference to locally as well as online.
1. Try to use the same credit card because too many credit cards being used will create confusion when it comes to balance checking or problems arising.
2. Only shop with sellers and vendors that you are familiar with or have purchased from in the past. There are lots of fake online stores that have been created with great product lists and prices just to steal your money. Many of the fake stores are located in china and your money would be lost for good(check out my hub on china scams)
3. Check your balances daily before and after purchases online or offline. In a grocery store it looked to me as though a cashier rung up the same items a few times on the scanner,that's exactly what she did,I paid with my credit card but didn't check my sales receipt until I got home. Returning to the store to complain was of no use,the manager offered to give me the extra items she rung me up for but i had no use for them and just would have preferred my money back.
4. Try to use Paypal as a payment method,you can get taken this way to but at least you have a fighting chance of getting your money back and at times you can request paypal hold a payment until you receive your merchandise ordered.
5. If you detect missing money out of any account that was unauthorized file a report immediately, do not wait as this may delay the process.
6. Be aware of giving out credit card information over the phone, remember that you are giving this information to a real person who can keep a record and reuse your information with fraud intentions.
7. Keeps all receipts and statements as proof of purchase so you wont be charged for more than what you ordered.
8. Keep track of all company information,phone numbers,address including city and state,fax numbers etc
9. Never be afraid to ask sellers questions,it may surprise you and save your pockets to find that they cant answer them accurately.
You wont have a happy holiday
You wont have a happy Christmas holiday if you become a victim of Online identity theft soon finding out someone has stolen from you so, its best to be prepared to pay attention to whats going on even in the local stores. During the holiday rush people will do things some on purpose and some mistakenly, cashiers will be ringing you up as quickly as possible to get to the next so they might accidentally ring something more than once, read all receipts in store, don't get upset just make it known calmly.
When doing all your "Christmas shopping" locally as well as keeping all receipts.
ATM Machines Identity Theft
You'll also want to watch out for yourself when using any ATM machines whether you have used them before or not. Online identity theft can happen locally as well. Many banks are turning up micro transmitters used to steal credit card numbers and such that have been implaned in ATM machines by criminals. Its really hard to know whether a atm machine has been tampered with unless you're a technical geek but you should avoid atm machines that have too much activity, while sticking to atm machines that are directly inside your banks.