Whether it’s during the holidays or throughout the rest of the year seniors, should be very careful when shopping online. Online shopping can be a fantastic way for seniors to be able to get the things they need delivered to their homes. But it can also put seniors at risk of identity theft, fraud, and other problems that can cost them a lot of money. Seniors should always use these tips to stay safe when online shopping, especially during the holidays.
Shop On Trusted Websites
Seniors should only shop on websites they recognize and that are the legitimate websites for trusted brands. Very often scammers will create dummy sites that look like a store’s website but check the address bar. On a dummy site the address will be one off by one letter or number and that’s how to tell it’s a scam. If seniors shop on that scam site their money will be gone and they could be leaving themselves open to identity theft. Seniors who have in-home care should have a caregiver shop with them online to make sure they are shopping on a legitimate store site.
Use A Prepaid Card
Prepaid debit cards function like credit cards except that once the money has been spent the card will stop working. That means it’s impossible for thieves to run up thousands of dollars of debt. And because the card is prepaid it’s not tied to a bank account. So criminals can’t use the card numbers to get access to a senior’s bank account without them knowing. Most banks and credit unions offer prepaid cards for free so seniors should get a prepaid card to use when they are online shopping.
Don’t Use Deal Sites
Sometimes when searching for coupon codes seniors will find a deal site offering great coupon codes. But, in order to get the deal it’s necessary to click on the link to the store’s website from the deal site. Those sites are usually not secure and can make seniors vulnerable to phishing and other scams. Remember if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is. Just write down the code and go to the store’s website directly. Never click through a deal site to any site where you will be entering any of your financial information.
Create An Email Just For Shopping
When shopping online seniors often will sign up for email lists and notifications to get good deals. And it’s possible to get some good discounts and deals that way. Most stores will offer a coupon code to get anywhere from 15-20% off a purchase when signing up for an email list. But those lists can be breached and data stolen. Seniors should create a new email that is just for shopping and doesn’t have any personal information or links to bank or credit accounts to help keep themselves safe. With a few precautions and some help from in-home care, seniors can be shopping online safely right away.