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Red Flags When Shopping or Searching Online

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Scammers love to make you think their websites are legit so you’ll send money or give out personal info they can use. But next time you click a Facebook ad or search online for a job, a great deal on anything from a laptop to a loan, or even a new puppy, you’ll know exactly what to watch out for!

Website red flags

Unsecure or Suspicious URLs. If the web address doesn’t show a locked padlock icon, or if it starts with “http” vs “https,” scammers likely can see info you enter on the site.

Spam Warnings. Flashing alerts or exclamations? Your web browser’s trying to tell you something feels off.

Weird Payment. Wire transfer, money order, international funds transfer, pre-loaded cards or Bitcoin are fishy payment requests. And don’t give out online banking logins – even if you’re told it’s “to deposit a check for you.”

Unsolicited Pop-ups. That big prize or other random enticing messages popping up on screen are telltale “uh-oh” signs.

No Contact Information. Be wary if there isn’t any customer support contact to answer your questions, or if contact info doesn’t seem to match up with other details on the site.

Negative Reviews. Search the company’s name or check social forums like Reddit to see what people say about it.

Share these red flags with family and friends so we can all look out for each other when surfing, searching and shopping online. If you think you’ve been scammed, or if you’ve given out your username, password, PIN or account info, contact your financial institution right away. Summit members can reach us for help at 800-236-5560.

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