DEAR HARRIETTE: I received an offer online to buy a luxury item at a discount for the holidays. I was so excited because it meant that I could purchase it for my daughter, who has wanted the item for so long. I quickly typed in all my information and clicked away.
Later, I thought about it and am worried that I may have given my bank information to a phony company. The offer was almost too good to be true. What if the item doesn't come? What if I gave all of my banking details to some random company?
I feel like an idiot. I am usually pretty careful. What can I do to protect myself in case this company tries to take my money? -- Possibly Duped, Bronx, New York
DEAR POSSIBLY DUPED: Check your bank account religiously to see if any unusual purchases have been made. Verify that the purchase you authorized has gone through as well. Contact your bank and alert it to the situation. It may suggest that you close out your card and get another. Follow the bank's protocol. When you work with your financial institution immediately, you stand a chance of being fully protected if fraud is indeed in play.