How to Shop Safely Online During the Holidays

Finding the perfect gift shouldn’t put your Extra Debit Card at risk. As you start shopping online for the holidays, keep your account secure by ordering from websites you can trust. Scammers use deceptive tactics to make fraudulent web stores appear normal. Apply these tips to keep your Extra account safe and merry. 

1. Vet online businesses

Do some research by scoping out online reviews and checking the Better Business Bureau for any complaints. You could also look out for poor grammar and spelling on the website. 

Another tip is to find the company’s physical address and phone number on their “Contact Us” page. Search this information and look if there are multiple companies at the same address. This could be a red flag for a scammer. If you find any matches with the exact info, consider shopping somewhere else. 

2. Only shop on encrypted websites 

URLs starting with “HTTPS” protect your data with basic TLS encryption. Without an “s” at the end of “HTTP,” the website is not encrypted and your data could be exposed. 

Be sure to check the padlock icon that is located on the address bar or at the bottom of the window. If the padlock is closed, this means that your information is encrypted. If you see a padlock located elsewhere on the website, consider shopping somewhere else since scammers sometimes add a fake padlock to deceive customers. 

Here is an example of what you should look for from a reputable website. 

3. Make sure you’re visiting the right URL

Before making a purchase, double-check that you’re on the right website. Some scammers will make their fraudulent website look pretty close to the brand you actually want to order from. One way to spot the fake is to check the URL spelling compared to the real website. For example, a legitimate vendor can have “o” in their URL but the fraudulent website will have “0.” 

4. Never provide more info than necessary

You can expect to provide your payment info, shipping address, phone number, and email when shopping online. However, if the merchant requests additional information like your bank account, social security number, etc. this website is most likely a scam. Do not provide this information–leave the page immediately. 

5. Routinely check your statements 

Make a habit of checking your bank statements regularly, ensuring that transaction amounts are correct and the listed purchases came from you. If you’re reviewing your Extra transaction history and see a purchase you don’t recognize, immediately report it to the Extra Concierge Team, in-app or by web. Be sure to provide the transaction date, amount, and name of the merchant. 

6. Be wary of unsolicited emails 

Scammers may try to pose as brands and reach out via email to obtain your information. One way they do this is by sending an email that asks you to confirm a recent purchase or account change with a link attached. This is not standard practice among legitimate businesses who will typically send you an invoice or receipt via email with details of your purchase. 

If you receive a fishy email like this, do not click on the link provided in the email. Instead, directly log on to the brand’s website by typing the web address yourself and reach out to their customer service team for support. 

We’re committed to your safety 

One way we look out for your account is by providing a real-time notification every time your Extra Debit Card is used on a transaction.

If you recognize a purchase you didn’t make, find an error in your purchase total, or accidentally give your info to a fraudulent website, please reach out to our Extra Member Concierge Team in-app as soon as possible. 

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