Ok so this is the last planned blog I have for Social Media safety, unless one of you lovely lot comment and give me some more ideas. This one will focus on payments and banking.

Facebook is a wonderful thing!, it allows people with shared interests to connect, find old friends, long lost family or even run a business. I myself run a business through Facebook, have done for a long time now. However, I only expect my customer to use Paypal to pay me. As it is a platform that protects both my information and the information of the customer, from each other. It also protects me from bogus buyers, and it would protect the buyer from bogus sellers if need be.

If you are going to purchase off the internet then you need to be aware of what you are buying, where from and what with.

There are so many adverts on Facebook today! And some of them are very appealing……. Gadgets, clothes and services. Are you aware of the saying…? ‘If it seems to good to be true, then It probably is’. Who of us have ordered something thinking it was amazing and it looked great in all those photos and was CHEAP! Amazing, it turns up looking nothing like the picture, cheap knock off from across the other side of the world. Also, on top of the disappointment, you also had to pay import duty on the parcel at the post office.

That experience although disappointing has only cost you the price of the goods you paid for. What if when you clicked on the advert it took you to another webpage…. Through a link, where you input your card details and then the goods never turned up, but instead you now have repeat transactions going out of your account, where you can’t control the amount or the frequency. Or they have just emptied your account with huge transactions. It happens and unfortunately, we see it a lot in our bank.

I cannot promise that if you follow my tips you will never be affected, but it helps protect you,

Tip 1: Use a credit card when shopping online, it is not your debit card, it is not attached to your bank account, if they do something fraudulent with the credit card, that should be covered by your credit card company.

Tip 2: Report Fraudulent Activity to your bank or credit card provider as soon as you release a transaction that you don’t recognise happens. As soon as they know, they can block the cards and start their investigations. All banks and credit card providers have different policy’s, some will refund you straight away and investigate, some make you wait for your money back while they investigate.

Tip 3: Paypal and Amazon are great places and platforms to shop. When you pay using them, you pay them, they then pay the seller. Your details never reach anyone but the platform. Equally, remember password safety!

Tip 4: Are you on a secure site? Did you arrive via a link you weren’t expecting? Does it look secure, does the website address reflect the name of the website?

Tip 5: What payment options are the offering? My own general rule is that if they won’t offer PayPal I’m not using them. Why won’t they let me use PayPal?

Tip 6: Where is the company you are buying from based? You can usually find this out but having a look around their website. A contact page with their address on might reveal they aren’t based where you thought they were? If it doesn’t stop a scam it may stop an unexpected import duty.

So now I’m going to move onto Facebook market pages. Again, I think they are great, I have used to buy and sell on these any times. I find waste a huge bug bear, and when I wasn’t able to take old baby things to charity shops (because they were full) and loathed to take them to the skip (as nothing wrong with them), I sold them on Facebook market place.

But I’m sure you have seen many a time people that have been scammed or they have had issues from using this resource.

I have tips here, but honestly its mostly to do with your own safety

Tip 1: If you are handing over cash, even if that good proves to be faulty, don’t expect to get your money back. They are not regulated sellers (they are like you). Check your wanted goods are in good order before leaving their premises. Looks for breaks, scuffs etc. And if it is electronic, check the plug and cable hasn’t been tampered with and ask for it to be plugged in, so they can see it working.

If it is new in the box, ask to undo the box and have a look. That sealed box might not contain what you think it does.

Tip 2: If you are going to an unknown house, take someone with you. Safety in numbers

Tip 3: Make sure you are not home alone when someone comes to pick something up. Again, they may be scouting the house for another time. It is your home, think of your safety. Do not agree to early morning pick ups or late dark at night pick up times.

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I hope that you have enjoyed my blogs and haven’t been overwhelmed by them or the size of them. I hope they are clear. Remember don’t fear social media, just question what you are doing. Make sure you are happy, and it makes sense. Why?

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