Did you know that 95,000 people reported $770 million in losses related to a shopping fraud initiated on a social media platform in 2021? A majority of these online shopping scams were related to purchases being initiated on a website directed from a social media platform, but then never receiving the product.
This is primarily because everyone nowadays is way too comfortable making purchases online. In most cases, these purchases get to us on time and without any problems. But in some, a scam ensues.
Let’s read on to see some online shopping safety tips.
1. Use a Protected Payment Method
If the seller you are looking at doesn’t offer a protected payment method, like PayPal or a credit card, then avoid that seller implicitly. You don’t want to buy something and then have no way of getting your money back if it turns out to be a scam.
With PayPal and with credit card purchases, you are protected in case of fraud. You will get your money back and the seller will be flagged in their system as a scammer. It’s a win-win situation since it protects everyone else who could potentially get scammed in the future.
2. Make Sure to Research the Online Seller Extensively
Take the time to research the seller properly, especially if it’s one that you have never purchased from before. Just because they have an Instagram profile and a website doesn’t mean that they are legitimate sellers. Anyone can pop up a storefront website and an Insta page nowadays in a matter of seconds.
Some things you can do, are:
- Check how old the brand’s website is
- Does the brand offer any contact information like email, phone number, or something else?
- Does it seem to have a legitimate address?
- Is the website secure – does it have a padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser along with https://?
It might seem like a pain to go through all these checks, but it will ensure that you don’t lose out on your precious money due to an online shopping scam.
3. What Do the Online Reviews about the Seller Say?
You are probably not the first one this seller is trying to scam out of their money. So make sure to go online and research the seller to see what others are saying about them.
4. If It’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Finally, follow this motto when shopping online – if your purchase price and shopping details seem too good to be true, then they probably are. Run in the opposite direction fast and make sure to report the scammer to the FTC so no one else has to go through it in the future.
Click here to learn how to make yourself feel secure when purchasing from a website in a different language.
Online Shopping Scams Can Be Easily Avoided
Remember that, with a bit of forethought and planning, you can avoid online shopping scams and keep your money safe and sound and in your pocket. The scammers aren’t that much smarter than you, they are just relying upon you to be careless and inattentive. Don’t give them even that tiny chance!
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