Online Savings Techniques
I love to save money…who doesn’t? People know how to save money offline, but what about when they are shopping online? Wouldn’t you like to get the most out of your online shopping? I am going to show you how…it’s very simple. Refer to the page links above and you will find all the information you need to know in order to save money as I do. It really is a “rush” to see the savings add up. The sites I list have all been tested by me and I have received cash back. I will not list a site until I know it’s the real deal. If you already are an avid online shopper and happen to know of other sites not listed that you know are the real deal and would like to share them, I welcome you to do so.
I know…you are probably saying…. Why would I want to buy online and pay for shipping fees? How am I saving money if I pay these fees? Well…many websites offer free shipping offers when spending so much on a purchase. Often, I can justify my paying these fees (when I have to), as I would have to spend the money on gas and wear and tear of my vehicle if I were going to a brick and mortar store. I would also have to go when they are open, drag my children with me or pay for a sitter, and wait in the, sometimes unbearable lines, to checkout. Most of my Christmas shopping is done all in the comfort of my home on the Internet.
You ask, “Is it safe to use your credit card online….I worry about someone stealing my information.” The answer is simple. To make sure a website is secure, check the address bar of your Internet browser (where you type in the website you want to visit) when you are on the check out page of the website you are shopping at. If you don’t see “https” before the website address (instead of http:) then the information you put in is not being sent over a secure connection. There is still some risk of the site not being secure, but the chances of this is slim (Please see below on ways to protect your identity on and offline). when you are shopping on a well-known website, such as: JC Penney, Sears, ebay, Old Navy, Justice, Brylane Home, Domestication’s etc. Also – you must remember your information can be breached when shopping at brick and mortar stores – this happen to many Target customers back in 2013. Its happened at local grocery stores I frequent.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!
Happy Happy Shopping!
Tips on protecting your identity at all times:
This information isn’t to deter you from shopping on the Internet…it’s so you can be an informed consumer. With as much shopping I have done on the Internet, I never have had a problem….and I’ve done A LOT of shopping in the past 10 yrs. on the Internet!
1. Make a copy of the contents of your purse/wallet containing any information that is personal….Social Security Card, Driver’s License, front and back of Credit Cards, debit cards, passport etc. You can go to a copy center to do so, use your computer copier or scanner (make sure to print it out in the event your PC were to ever die if you scan the pics), or take a picture using your camera and then printing them out at home. Don’t ever send the pictures out to be printed or pick up in store…you are compromising someone else seeing your information.
2. Make a list of the phone numbers of all your credit cards so you can report your lost or stolen credit cards. Keep this in a file.
3. When signing your credit cards do not sign your name….sign…. “ask for photo ID.”
4. If paying a credit card by check…do not put the entire credit card account number on the check. Instead, use only the last four numbers. The credit card company can figure out the rest. If a credit card bill comes in the mail with your credit card account number on it, before returning your payment cross out all numbers except the last four with a marker or pen making sure one can’t see beneath the ink.
5. Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks. You can add it if and when necessary.
6. If you ever have your wallet or purse stolen, the first thing you should do before contacting each and every credit card company, is to contact the 3 Credit Bureaus to immediately place a FRAUD ALERT on your name/account. This can be done online as well. The next call should be to the Social Security Fraud line. By placing an alert on your name means any company that checks your credit will know your information was stolen and then need to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
- Equifax: 1-800-766-0008
- Trans Union : 1-800-680-7289
- Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
7. After contacting the Credit Bureaus contact each of your credit card companies to notify them of the lost or stolen card.
Ensure that you complete the above steps. It’s extremely easy to steal one’s identity these days. One can now apply for credit cards on the internet, open bank accounts, apply for loans etc. One can shop on the Internet with your information as you would if they had the information they need, in hand.
Monitor your credit score – it’s free to do so at Credit Sesame. You will receive an email each month to remind you to check your credit score (you can check it anytime, but they only update the score once a month). In doing so – if you notice your score has changed to the negative and wasn’t your doings – you can investigate further.
Lastly, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ to retrieve your free report under the FACT Act. One is entitled to a copy of their credit report for free through the credit bureaus annually.
You may be astonished as to who is looking at your credit and the errors that you may find listed on your report. For example, when I pulled one of mine, I discovered someone listed me as having a bankruptcy! I never have filed for bankruptcy and it was later discovered the entry was for a person with the same name as mine. Another time when I was helping a friend and his father – they each had entries on their credit reports that belonged to each other. To this day I don’t understand how any of this could happen as each person has a unique Social Security number. I wonder why weren’t those crossed referenced?