How to Avoid Scams When Shopping Online These Holidays?
Fraud

How to Avoid Scams When Shopping Online These Holidays?

EPF Last Update: December 10, 2018

The majority of businesses have higher productivity during the holiday seasons. It’s because we all love holidays and the goods that come with it. Reputable companies’ take advantage of it as a significant percentage of the individuals utilizes the holiday on shopping.  Thanks to the Internet innovation, shopping is possible at the comfort of your couch. Unfortunately, scammers are also taking advantage of the platform to extort cash from naive buyers by selling counterfeit goods or “nothing.”

Ever been scammed while shopping online? Are you wondering on how to avoid scams when buying online this holiday season? Worry no more as we take you through some precautionary actions to help you stay off scammers.

Visit the seller’s official website

After spotting a company offering your desired product, check on the seller’s website. Any reputable company website should have a business profile, the name of the company, contact, location, email address, telephone number, and privacy policy. Please do not trust the website for having a foreign extension since any scammer can get his/her way with it.

Conduct the company’s scamming history

Type the name of the company in your favorite search engine alongside words such as complaints, contact, scam, reviews, cons, and legit among other related keywords. For example; if the company name is Lutcha electronics, you can search “Luptcha Electronics scam,” “Luptcha Electronics legit,” among other formats. You can also search the company’s email address, or phone number to tell if anybody had reported it on being a scammer. If not, apply the remaining techniques to prove its legality.

Research on their customer testimonials

A company that relies on online shopping has a section on reviews. Please scroll down the page while reading the customers’ feedbacks about their delivery service and the product you want to order. This section generally, displays the reputation of the company and may provide answers on ordering, reliability, and delivery. Leave the page only if you get contented about the information you were researching.

Be careful while providing information

Always keep in your mind that you are creating a buyer-seller relationship. Be cautious while providing any information online.  It would help if you also were suspicious on any individual or company that requests for your private details such as the social security number. Such information may be used by the spammer to access your privacy or even used to spam other people. The truth is,  you only need the credit card details for payment purposes, your address, and phone number for delivery purposes. Period!

Send an email to the online store before making purchases

It is a genius step. Use the company’s email address to inquire about the product. Any established and convenient online shopping store has a clear way of responding to their clients. If you receive automated feedback after making inquiries, consider looking for an alternative because communication is paramount when it comes to online shoppers. Otherwise, how would you track your orders? By conversing with a robot? For your peace of mind, search for more responsible companies.

Avoid shopping on mobile apps

To secure your time and resources from the online scammers, avoid entrusting some downloaded online shopping apps for this holiday’s shopping.  Many scammers are taking advantage of such apps to offer substandard or extort money from careless shoppers.   Don’t be carried away by an app, visit the official company website and follow the mentioned techniques. After that, you can securely order for your desired product.

Install a password manager

Having a password manager to secure your browsing is a thoughtful decision this holiday since it identifies alerts and blocks all the scammers and hackers. It is a safer way of protecting yourself from such characters.

Do not buy if the deal is too good

If the product appearance is “too good” for the indicated price, stay away from it. Very enticing deals is one of the strategies the scammers apply to attract buyers for counterfeit goods. Whatsoever, check on the company selling the product. If the company is one of the legit ones such as Amazon, maybe there are offers or reasonable discounts. If you just spotted the product on a post from your social media page, run! Your money is at risk.

Use a secured means of payment

Before paying for an order, ensure that you are dealing with a secured website. Any secured website page has a URL address preceded with https. The page also should have a display of a critical logo or a padlock. Secondly, use a billing method that would help you recover your money in case of fraud such as a Credit Card. Finally, avoid settling your online shopping bills using direct money transfers such as MoneyGram, Western Union, bank transfers among others.

Don’t be desperate

Take your time before settling on shopping from an online store this holiday. Remember, high knowledge of technology has enabled scammers to create a counterfeit website bearing the original company’s logo among other details. Secondly, they are very fast while striking deals. Do not be carried away.  Finally, do not rush on placing orders because you saw your dream watch in an online store. Other reputable websites like eBay may also deliver the product at the exchange of your trust. Take some baby steps while making such decisions.

Finally, it’s evident that online shopping is the best, reliable, convenient, and straightforward especially if used appropriately. Therefore, it does not mean you classify all online stores as scammers since there are genuine ones. Apply the above tips on how to avoid scams when shopping online this holiday season and you will be safe from such ordeals. Enjoy your online shopping!

Elite Personal Finance

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