A few hours ago I received yet another email claiming to be from iTunes warning me that there was a problem with a recent purchase. The email looked like something Apple could have sent but I hadn’t made such a purchase recently and they did not send it. Even if I had, though, I would have been suspicious since many scam artists create emails that look like they come from legitimate banks, PayPal, eBay, iTunes, etc. so they can lure people into “correcting” supposed account errors. By doing this, thieves can capture credit card and other personal information they can use later.
So how do you protect yourself? There’s one easy way that I recommend. Don’t click on any emails asking for credit card or account updates. Instead, if you receive such an alert, open your web browser and type the name of the bank, credit card or store website yourself and then login to update your account securely that way. Also, don’t ever send credit card information or numbers via email — most email messages are not encrypted for security.
I have shopped online for 12 years now and have not experienced any safety problems with it. Reputable stores like those on Shopping-Bargains.com have tough security measures in place that make Internet transactions more secure than phoning the order in (especially over cellular or wireless phones) or even buying in person where the store clerk has access to your credit card and/or receipt. So with all this in mind, be extra careful with email messages as you enjoy the convenience and extra security of online shopping.