12 fraud awareness tips for online Christmas shopping

EDMONTON – Just in time for the 12 days of Christmas, a local security expert is offering up 12 quick tips for fraud awareness when it comes to holiday shopping.

His number one tip?

“I like having a second credit card, and I use it for online purchases,” online security expert David Papp said. The credit card has a low limit. Since it’s for internet purchases only, it’s not a huge inconvenience on day-to-day life if it is compromised and needs to be cancelled.

READ MORE: Your online bank account: At risk of a cyber attack?

When it comes to deals, Papp said, “if it’s too good to be true – it’s probably too good to be true.” He said to be especially wary of lesser-known, online-only stores.

Papp also reminded consumers to make sure they are shopping on a secure site with SSL protection.

Story continues below advertisement

“We keep telling people this, but it’s making sure you have that little lock symbol. We call that ‘HTTPS.’ It’s a secured connection and what it means is that everything between the website you’re communicating with and your own web browser is encrypted.”

READ MORE: What you really need to know about online security flaws

Here are David Papp’s 12 quick fraud awareness tips to remember when online shopping:

  1. The best way to get your attention is with a “stunning” price, so be wary of things that are too good to be true
  2. The best scams don’t look like scams
  3. Usually the scammers don’t get reviews
  4. Safe payment systems take hard work, and a new website might not have put in the effort
  5. Look for a “real” owner
  6. Watch out for making purchases over public or open WiFi
  7. SSL protects your connection, but doesn’t protect you from who you connect to
  8. Review your online account settings
  9. Keep personal information personal
  10. Develop good password habits; change them often and use unique ones that are hard to guess
  11. Ensure the website address makes sense
  12. Consider a low-limit credit card

Papp recently launched a new educational website called The site looks like it is selling discounted electronics, but when people try to buy something and are asked for payment information, it informs them they could have been scammed and provides fraud awareness information.

Papp said the point is to show how easy it can be to set up a fraudulent website.

Story continues below advertisement

The Alberta government also released eight tips for online holiday shopping:

Alberta government

WATCH: Avoid Over spending this Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Sponsored content