Common Online Shopping Scams: How to Avoid Them & What to Do If You Become a Victim of One

One of the major issues online shoppers face are shopping scams. Many people don’t feel secure because of them so they avoid online shopping at any cost, which is unfortunate since it can be so useful in many ways. After all, it’s a way that a lot of people wind down after work. It really is just a matter of knowing how to use the internet in a safe way. So, before completely writing off online shopping, you should know that there are ways of protecting yourself and recognizing these fake online stores. Therefore, we should all learn more about how to avoid these scams and what to do if we happen to be a victim of one so that we can enjoy online shopping carefreely. 

How do these scams work?

The thing about the internet is that you never know who is really on the other of your screen. It could be a legitimate company or a store, but it could also be a person trying to steal your money. These scammers set up fake online stores that look completely real, and trick people into buying from them. What happens usually is that you either don’t receive the product you purchased, or it comes in a completely damaged or unusable state. This can also be done through social media stores that are getting more and more popular nowadays. After a great number of people orders from these fake stores and accounts, they soon disappear from the internet like they never existed. 

What are the warning signs of shopping scams?

Online scammers are very good at tricking people into thinking they are a legitimate business. They often use good looking designs and logos, and even a domain name that sounds completely genuine. Since they are so difficult to set apart from the real ones, we have to look for other warning signs of shopping scams. First of all, you should always be wary of any stores which offer amazing, high-end products at incredibly low prices. If these products are real or in good condition, why would somebody sell them for anything less than their usual price? Another thing that should arouse your suspicion should be a lack of information about delivery or any other store policies. Also, if you can’t find information about the terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution or any details about the seller, that probably isn’t the best place for you to shop at. 

How can you protect yourself?

When you are shopping online, don’t give out your bank or credit card information to just any website – pay only using secure payment services, such as Paypal. A URL starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock icon are both signs of legitimate websites that you know you can trust. You should also see if the store has a refund or returns policy and if you agree with all the terms. 

What can you do if you are a victim of an online scam?

If something isn’t right with a product you receive, don’t panic just yet – you could be dealing with a legitimate store that will help you resolve the issue. You should always contact the seller first before making any claims. However, if you are sure that you got scammed, there are a few things you can do. First, if you used your credit card to pay, you can contact your bank to ask for a charge-back. If this is possible, you should get your money back right away. You can also report scams to appropriate agencies in your country so that they are aware of these fake stores and scams.

Author: Chester