COMMENT:

Online shopping is such a welcome convenience for busy working parents - but it can have a little sting in the tail sometimes.

Smashed or lost items on a courier, gifts that don't arrive on time, things you ordered that looked a certain size or shape online, yet arrive looking completely different. Getting catfished by online products is nothing new.

But yesterday I had something even more annoying than that. My card got nicked – not physically, online.

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Somehow, amidst one of my online Christmas shopping orders, my card details got grabbed by god knows who, and what appeared to be a spending spree in Amsterdam ensued.

I only knew about this when the supermarket (thankfully) rang up to say they couldn't process my online grocery order because my credit card had declined.

Pretty sure that I hadn't gone that nuts and hit my limit, I did a quick check online to see what was going on.

Luckily the transactions had only just occurred - in Amsterdam. One of the stores said Nike Amsterdam.

Worried someone was on a sneaker shopping binge on my credit card, I phoned my bank manager, who said they'd detected the fraud and blocked my card and would now have to cancel it before the scumbags ran amok. The bank told me it was not a Nike store at all but a fake website for something else – who knows what.

My credit card being cancelled meant I would also have to undertake the administrative headache of removing all the automatic payments and direct debits I'd set up for things like insurance, rates, phone and electricity accounts - first-world problems, yes, but nonetheless a pain in the bum at a busy time of year.

Frustratingly I don't even know which website my card was compromised on, but it's actually the second time this year that it's happened to me. My bank tells me it is more and more commonplace and something they spend a lot of time dealing with too.

I'm telling you all this to serve as a small reminder to be super vigilant about where you put your credit card numbers this expensive festive season.

My bank reiterated the basics: keeping an eye out for the padlock icon at the top of your browser to identify secure sites versus ones that are unsecured, being mindful of sites that send error messages and don't process your number straight away. The other obvious clues are spelling mistakes on the website. Yes these all sound obvious, but when you're in a hurry or not on your game it's easy to miss – trust me.

So while I wait for yet another credit card to arrive, I can tell you I'm feeling pretty nostalgic for the old bricks and mortar shopping experience.