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Online shopping for the holidays: how to keep your information safe

JACKSON, Miss.- Christmas is almost here and holiday shopping is in full swing. If you’re doing most of that online, make sure your personal information is safe. 

John O’hara with the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi said that common online scams can add a damper to your holiday spirit.

“One thing that we’ve already had several reports on nationwide with the BBB is people buying things online and getting fake delivery notifications,” said O’hara. “What happens is, you order something online, thinking you bought it from a legitimate retailer, you get a tracking number, and when you key that in with FedEx or UPS it shows ‘invalid.’”

O’hara said this is one way scammers are getting your information by providing you with some type of fake confirmation number.

He said the number one best thing you can do when shopping online is to use a credit card instead of a debit card, just make sure you pay it off at the end of each month.

“With a credit card, that money, you get a bill and you can dispute the charges. With a debit card that money is coming out of your account and if your personal information has been compromised people can take money out of your account,” said O’hara.

If you’re doing your shopping the conventional way and heading to the stores, continue making good choices when you select a gas station to fill your car’s tank. O’hara said skimmers are still a problem in the Magnolia State.

“When there’s people that are busy and shopping, it is very easy,especially on the weekends, for those skimmers to be put on and collect a lot of information at a time,” said O’hara.

The safest bet is just paying inside.

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