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Looking online for credit cards, loans and other financially related lines of credit or otherwise financially related services has become the newest way to weed out competitors when you’re looking for the best company to give your business to. The internet has truly been a Godsend to those that are looking for financial services and other services that will impact their wallet somehow.

What have you searched for online? Chances are you’ve received quotes online for loans, have navigated the internet for deals on credit cards, and have even maybe signed up for a loan or a new account, or a credit card online. Not only is it easy, but it allows you to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing who has control over your financial future and how much you’ll be paying out every month to debts like credit cards, car loans, mortgages, and other lines of credit.

Can shopping online for financial services be risky? Well, certainly, if you’re not careful, you could fall victim to a bait and switch scheme, or they can sell you something that doesn’t give you all the information you need, like nondisclosure of related fees, bumping interest rates promised at time of signing up after the fact, and other rules and guidelines of the loan or line of credit that were in too fine of print for you to notice before, by design or by default.

You also want to be careful for unscrupulous websites which will take your information and sell it to others who will spam your email, or worse yet, scammers who can gain access to your social security information, which is often needed on an application for credit because your credit score requires this information. Before you go giving your information online though, make sure you see a security certificate, that the information you are giving is 100% secure.

Make sure also that you are writing down every single website URL that you disclose any personal information to. This way, if anything happens to your accounts or your credit cards or other personal use accounts are compromised in any way, you have a point of reference as to who has recently had access to your personal information.

Also, when retail shopping, be sure to scratch off the digits that are shown on your receipts for your credit cards. A girlfriend of mine told me about this one, because this way no one can gain access to your information who views the receipt, or even try to piece together your information from using those numbers.

There are some sophisticated ways that people can scam people for money nowadays, and even though the internet offers us more benefit than danger, it certainly can be a way for scammers to easily access our information if we do not exercise caution in giving out personal information out.