Online shopping can help you save money and get access to a wide range of products, but this method of shopping also have disadvantages. Hackers and other criminals are constantly trying to cheat buyers by offering fake deals and discounts. According to a recent report from the Better Business Bureau of fraud with online shopping is the second most risky type after fraud when applying for a job, says GoBankingRates.
Knowing the most common scams and pitfalls faced by online buyers you can ensure the best investment of your finances.
1. Requests for payment by Bank transfer
Will be wary if the seller asks you to make a Bank transfer or other method of money transfer, including a gift card as payment for your order. In this case, it is likely that your money will go straight into the pocket of the scammer, and you get nothing. If you want to protect yourself, always pay with a credit card or other safe payment methods.
2. Links sent via text messages
If you get a random text message asking you to click on a link that advertises some kind of amazing deal or to cancel a particular service, it is likely a Scam. It’s a way to force you to give up personal information by clicking on the link or sharing information to others in a similar way.
3. Fake web sites or domains
If you make a purchase on the fake web site, you can get a fake — something completely different from what was advertised, or nothing at all. One of the ways to determine whether you are viewing a fake site, is to look at the domain name. As a rule, most legitimate URL does not contain any extraneous characters or spelling errors. The reseller sites have simple names, and usually correspond to their trademarks. For example, the domain name of fashion brand Michael Kors — MichaelKors.com and for Gucci — Gucci.com.
You can also check whether the website of the universal seal of approval, for example, the Norton Secured Seal, or check to see when the domain was created by using Whois.
4. Incredible savings
Let’s say you are faced with is discount 95% on your favorite product or thing. You click on the ad and get redirected to a website where they can shop. You have to enter your personal information in order to obtain a product. At this point the fraudster has obtained your information and is ready to leave you with nothing.
If you are skeptical about the deal, look at how much product in other stores. A simple comparison of prices can help you determine whether a transaction is truly legitimate or just an attempt to steal your money or information.
5. Avoid shopping when you are using a public Wi-Fi
Be careful when using a public Wi-Fi connection and completely avoid it if you are going to buy goods and enter payment information. The likelihood of identity theft increases! Sometimes online criminals create Wi-Fi network, similar to that which you expect to use, hoping that you will connect to it. If you have to use public wifi, make sure you entered the virtual private network.
6. Phishing emails
Such letters can come at any time of year, but usually popular during the holidays. It looks like an email from a respected retailer mentions a welcome discount or reports that something went wrong with your order. In the email usually has a link where you can go to buy or solution. However, by clicking on the link, you will download malware onto your computer.
To confirm the validity of the identity of the sender, double-check the email address. Also, watch for errors and links that require you to provide personal information.
7. Fake delivery notification
If you received an email from a major delivery service, for example, from FedEx, stating your parcel is delayed or there is a problem with your order, it may be a phishing Scam. As a rule, these emails ask you to click the link for more information about the proposed problem. But clicking on the link may lead to downloading malicious programs that hackers use to retrieve data from your computer.
Instead of clicking the link, you should directly visit the website of the shipper and use your tracking number or order confirmation to check the status of the parcel.
8. The lack of information for communication
Respected retailers usually have a summary of who they are in the “About us” section where you can find the company’s history, values and mission. Legitimate companies also usually have the “Contacts” section where consumers can submit complaints and service issues.
The section “About us” or “Contact us” can help to improve the transparency and reliability of the retailer. If you have doubts about the authenticity of the web site, make sure that the seller has available a line of communication with their customers.
9. The reluctance to examine the issue
This is not a method of fraud, but one of the traps that you can fall by mistake. Conducted their own study and comparing web sites, you will get an idea about the average cost of the product available on the market. Compare prices gives you the best opportunity to find out whether a transaction is legitimate or fraudulent. Not doing research, you can get in trouble.
10. Neoclerodane their accounts
Although you don’t always want to pay with a credit card, it can help you quickly track fraudulent activity and avoid other mistakes when you shop on the Internet. It is advisable to regularly check the balances on their accounts and credit cards, in order to detect any unusual expenditures and unauthorized purchases. If you see this, report it immediately.
11. Fake sites and pages with coupons
Beware of clicking on coupons on social networks. If the coupon comes from official social network page of the seller, it should be quite obvious. In many cases, counterfeit coupons appearing on social media pages that claim to be associated with retailers.
For example, you stumbled on a deal in Ross, which is not progressing on any of the official media platforms Ross. Instead assume that the deal — a secret, contact your local store or try to keep track of the transaction on the official website of Ross. Otherwise you are vulnerable to malware attacks.
12. Too early shopping
When you view the section “Closeout” on the Internet, pay special attention to the position of the final sale. This does not always mean final price. In fact, retailers sometimes reduce the prices of such goods.
So what is the meaning of the final sales? To disperse the fans to do the returns. According to the analytical e-Commerce site Invesp, returns 30% of goods ordered online, compared with 8% of goods purchased in the store.
13. Subscribe to extra alert
Although you don’t want to miss a bargain, subscribe to many mailing lists may mean mailbox is full. Of course, stocks have a short shelf life, but, most likely, soon there will be another.
Instead to receive information about promotions about everything every day, it is best to sign up for promotions when you are looking for something. Thus, you can give your mailbox a break and not be tempted by unnecessary items for sale.
14. Excessive trust reviews
Appreciated products and services have a major impact on new customers, and retailers know it. It’s a way to get an idea about the product that cannot be seen or touched. The survey 2018 from ReviewTracker showed that 63.6% of people check reviews online before you arrive at the store. As a result, some online shopping get paid for positive reviews.
Not to be deceived by the fake reviews, beware of reviews that lack specific details about your product or service. Also note the date of reviews. If at the same time published a large number of positive reviews, this could indicate that the reviews were paid.
15. Extra purchase for free shipping
Shopping online is fun, but you have to pay for shipping. Retailers often entice you by offering free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money. It sounds like a good deal, but can lead to the fact that you will spend even more money by adding another item to meet the minimum for free delivery. This additional element usually replaces the shipping costs that you would pay, or more expensive. Stay with sellers who offer free shipping throughout the year.
16. Fake apps
Before download the app “Black Friday” or similar to find big discounts and offers, make sure this app is legit. A study by RiskIQ 2017 showed that one of the 25 applications concerning “Black Friday” is a Scam designed to steal personal information or download malware on a phone or laptop of the user. Download only the official app store or known reliable widely applications such as FatWallet and DealNews.
17. “Designer” goods with large discounts
Even if you buy a product on a reputable site such as Amazon, Walmart or eBay, you can still get a fake product, sold to one of the third-party sellers. A study conducted in 2018 by the Office of accountability of the US government, showed that 20 of the 47 products, which the organization purchased from third-party sellers on a popular consumer web sites was counterfeit.
Control the sign of fake item is the price which seems too good to be true. As a rule, it is.
18. Hidden delivery charge
We all had a moment when we noticed that the total amount in the cart is much higher than we thought. This may be a result of hidden costs, such as fees for shipping individual items. Or perhaps a website advertises “free shipping”, but only for customers who pay annual membership or other fees.
Before you fill your shopping cart on any website purchases, make sure you know how much I will pay for shipping. Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper to choose the option “pick up in store” or receiving free promotional delivery codes at sites like RetailMeNot.
Shopping online is easy and convenient activity, making it a popular way of shopping. But at the same time, it is easy to become a victim of fraud. To make sure that you are buying is safe, follow these tips.
Check the authenticity of the web site or application
The easiest way to detect a questionable web site or application is the wrong spelling of the name or the URL — if something is wrong, don’t click or download.
Secure sites typically begin with “https://” and not with “http://”, so pay attention to this difference before trusting a web site. Another way to check the security of the website is to run it through safe web search Norton.
Choosing the app, stick to brands and developers, you may have heard about and trust. In addition, you can check whether the company is accredited or has received complaints by searching on BBB.org.
Don’t be too sure about reviews
Reviews are easy to fake, so don’t trust everything you read. Some signs of fake reviews include excessive use of personal pronouns, the lack of specific details, concurrent reviews, and bad grammar.
Of course, not all reviews are fake, and real reviews can be helpful tool when making purchasing decisions. However, don’t let the reviews be your main and ultimate determinant of purchase.
Explore the shops
One of the best ways to avoid frauds shopping online. If you see a price for the item, which is much lower or higher than the price on other sites, it is a good indication that we are talking about forgery or fraud.
Google Shopping is also a good way to find the right product on a reliable website and compare prices online. It also shows the shipping cost, so you can compare the full price of the goods, and not only declared.
Pay using a credit card
Always select the credit card payment and not personal payment, Bank transfer or PayPal. Credit cards can be easily tracked, and it also protects you from any unauthorized charges or fees for goods. Most companies producing a credit card, do not charge a fee for any disputed costs.
Do not share personal information with online sellers
You should never provide your Bank account information, your social security number or your date of birth to the Internet trader. A website that requests this info most likely fraudulent.
Remember: if something looks too good to be true usually it is
Design products with significant discounts, sites offering 90% discount on hot products, coupons for retail at incredible prices, and sites and products that have only good reviews have one thing in common — they’re probably fake. If something seems too good to be true, trust your intuition and leave.