Keep a keen eye on these scenarios when attempting to pay for something by credit card.

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1. When a website address does not begin with “HTTPS”
1. When a website address does not begin with “HTTPS”
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If you don’t see these five letters in the address bar of the website you are trying to make a payment on, it means the site is not secure.

“HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet,” explains Robert McKee, lawyer and certified international privacy professional.

“Its main motivation is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.”

When the URL begins with “HTTPS”, the site is secure, and you are safe to use a credit card.

If the site does not include an “s” in this beginning part of the URL, opt out of the online purchase, and try using a third-party payment system like PayPal instead.

These sites act as another barrier between an organization and your credit information. If all else fails, try paying in person.

With Christmas shopping looming, now is the time to wise up to the tricks of online scammers.

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