Tips for avoiding online shopping scams

Photo by Tara Winstead:

E-commerce websites are revolutionizing the way we shop. Not only can we buy goods and services, but we can also use social interaction platforms to review and ask questions about products. 

Before purchase, we can research the items, compare prices, and pay directly from our bank account or credit card. Other added benefits include ease of returns, exchange, and refunds in case of dissatisfaction with the quality of service.

E-commerce websites are the virtual store that you visit to make a purchase. These websites have several advantages: they save your expenses in traveling to shops, paying for the mediators, and booking the place to keep your goods.

How safe is online shopping?

Online shopping has simplified life by allowing people to purchase goods without leaving their homes. However, a new threat has emerged with the rise in internet shoppers. 

Fake websites defraud clients by luring them with unrealistic discounts on items and services, only never delivering them or selling low-quality goods that are not worth the price. 

Thousands of such websites are listed, but many more are not updated to market their product. In addition, some of these websites may also contain links to malicious software that might hamper your computer or steal information stored on it.

Consider the following tips and refer to this list while shopping online and avoid scamsters and frauds to safeguard your interest. 

Read the reviews

While not all reviews are trustworthy and have been proven to be fabricated, there are still genuine ones that contain real customer experiences. Reading enough reviews of a product would give you an overall idea about the product and the seller.  

Use your common sense, check whether the reviews seem fishy, and check out the seller’s track record on platforms like BBB or Google auto-complete. Finally, check what other users say about the actual product itself and whether they were scammed too with the same issue that you face.

Avoid unrealistic deals and discounts

Watch out for online scams when shopping online. One popular one is to provide a product at a price that seems too good to be true. These online scammers will list the product at a discounted price, which lures in a customer. 

When the customer tries to buy the product, they’re directed to a website where they enter their payment information. The fake merchant site charges the customer more money than the actual cost, never delivers the product, or ships the fake and cheap quality products.

Always double-check that your internet browser is secure and review your credit card statements.

Use credit cards for online shopping

Swipe your card with confidence. Fraudsters can be as intelligent and advanced as the most sophisticated online payment software, so it’s in your best interest to ensure you’re using the safest payment option available. 

Credit cards provide more fraud protection than debit cards because they’re not tied directly to your bank accounts. Plus, if a fraudster charges an item that you didn’t authorize on your debit card, the amount will get debited directly, leaving you with bleak chances of getting it back.

Different passwords for multiple accounts 

It is highly recommended to use difficult to guess passwords for your different accounts, apart from the rule never to repeat your passwords to safeguard yourself against online scams

Onlookers may discover your login information and hack into other users’ accounts. A good password for one account can quickly become compromised, and then it’s easy for others to access all of your accounts and private information. Keep your sensitive data protected with different passwords used only on certain websites.