Online shopping has grown in popularity among consumers over the past few years. As a result, scammers and hackers have started targeting online shoppers. In fact, more and more online retailers are now offering discounts, coupons, and promo codes for customers to save money and enjoy savings.
Unfortunately, the majority of people fall prey to scams and fraud schemes. What can you do to avoid losing money to online purchase scams?
Here Are 20 Tips to Save You From Becoming a Victim of Online Shopping Scams:
1. Read Reviews
Before you make any purchase, check out reviews from real customers. The Better Business Bureau recommends checking customer reviews before purchasing any service online. By seeing what others thought about the company, you can see how satisfied they were with its services. You can also determine the reliability of the business based on the number of positive and negative reviews.
2. Shop Around
If you decide to buy something from an international online shop, compare prices and shipping costs with other retailers. Look for deals and discounts on specific websites, and compare prices across multiple sites. Also, read terms and conditions carefully before signing up for any website.
Many companies offer a 30-day return policy, but some charge extra fees for returns and refunds. Once you sign up, you might find that the cost of returning items increases significantly after 30 days.
3. Keep in Touch with Your Account Holder
When you order an item online, keep in touch with your account holder via phone or email as often as possible. Contact them immediately if you need to change payment options or ask questions. Otherwise, if you don’t hear back within 10 business days, it may be time to cancel the transaction and report the site to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC will investigate and take action against the retailer who doesn’t respond to customer complaints.
4. Only Buy From Secure Websites
Looking for how to avoid scams when shopping online? then, this is the best method. It is important to know where you are ordering from. Make sure to only shop at secure websites. These websites require users to enter personal information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers. Be careful to fill out these forms only if the website asks for this information. Click here to learn more about secure websites.
5. Know Where Your Mail Is Going
You should always check the return address when receiving packages, including emails. This way, you can confirm that your package was delivered to the right location and prevent identity theft. When sending packages, make sure the sender uses the correct shipping address; otherwise, there is no guarantee that the package will reach its destination.
6. Never Send Personal Information Over Email
Never send sensitive information over email. A hacker could intercept your messages, steal your data, and use it for fraudulent activities. To ensure safety, opt for a secure method of communication like telephone calls or video chats instead.
7. Use Escrow Services
Many online stores offer escrow services. However, many unscrupulous sellers refuse to pay for goods when buyers dispute charges. Escrow services protect both parties and make sure payments go through smoothly.
8. Check Out Shipping Options Before Ordering Online
Always calculate the total amount you are going to spend on shipping prior to placing an order. Some businesses offer free shipping on orders above a certain value, while others charge extra fees for each additional pound shipped. It is best to look into all available options so that you aren’t surprised when the product arrives.
9. Avoid Phishing Emails
International online store phishing emails are attempts to fraudulently obtain personal data like usernames and passwords. Hackers send phishing emails claiming they have won prizes and asking recipients to click on links leading to fake websites. Don’t provide your login credentials over email. Instead, choose to call customer service for assistance.
10. Pay Attention to Coupons
In addition to international shops around, it is also wise to take advantage of coupons. Most major retail store chains post coupons on their websites. You can also get coupons directly from manufacturers. Always double check the coupon code before checking out. Many fraudulent sites try to mimic legitimate retailers’ web pages to trick shoppers.
11. Protect All Data On Computers
When using public computers, it is vital to encrypt files. Encryption makes it difficult for hackers to access private data. Additionally, avoid accessing any information using public Wi-Fi points. Public Wi-Fi networks are open to anyone nearby, which means hackers could easily gain access to your device.
12. Stay Alert
Make sure to stay alert for fraudulent internet activity. Many people fall for a scammed online purchase because they fail to notice warning signs. Here are some red flags:
- An unsolicited email requesting money.
- Unclear language and poor grammar.
- Someone pretending to be another person.
13. Report Fraudulent Activity
This is how to avoid being scammed online shopping. If you ever experience suspicious activity, report it immediately. Credit card companies will most likely investigate these incidents and help identify the perpetrator.
14. Keep Your Device Updated
As technology advances at lightning speed, new threats emerge as well. That’s why keeping your devices updated with security patches is important. Malware developers are constantly finding ways to hack into devices and steal data. As soon as you find out about a virus, update your software immediately.
15. Be Cautious of Free Trials
This is one of the scams in online shopping. Free trials don’t always come with strings attached. Sometimes, however, they do. In fact, the majority of free trial offers come with hidden costs. Make sure to read the fine print carefully.
16. Ask Questions About The Vendor
Before buying anything online, ask yourself whether or not this particular vendor has a good reputation. If possible, visit their website and see what other customers have to say. Also, use a third party review site such as ReviewTrackers.com to learn more about them.
17. Verify Information Provided By Vendors
If you wish to purchase something online, ensure that everything the vendor provides is accurate. This includes address details, payment methods, returns policies, and delivery dates. Try to verify that every detail matches up with what’s written on the company’s website.
18. Get A Refund Policy From The Seller
Get a refund policy for products purchased online. Even if the seller doesn’t offer refunds, it pays to know in advance how long you can expect a product to last. It’s better to buy one item now than lose an entire order later.
19. Double Check Your Credit Card Details
Never share sensitive financial details over the phone or through emails. Make sure to confirm all billing and shipping addresses beforehand. Do not give out your personal social security number or bank account numbers. These details are stored on their servers and can easily be accessed by cybercriminals.
20. Use Strong Passwords
A strong password is essential when choosing passwords for your various accounts. For example, instead of simply creating “password1” for your ecommerce website, create a unique password that is hard to guess.
These are how to avoid online shopping scams. There are many different techniques hackers use to gain access to our information. However, we can also take several precautions to prevent identity theft.
Always use proper passwords, never share sensitive information, and try to only use free trials after reading the terms first. Additionally, look out for any red flags while shopping online.