Online Shopping Scams – Yes, they are true!
Whenever you shop online from a new retail website, you probably get nervous and hesitate a little before making your payment. You get a lot of questions in your mind such as- Is this website genuine? Is this seller trustworthy? Is the product original and brand new? Will my money be safe? Will I be able to return the product? These are general doubts that a person gets while shopping online even if the person is a regular online shopper. This is due to a large number of online shopping scams happening every now and then.
If you find a super deal on any website, it can be very appealing to grab it. But, before making any purchase, look for the major signs to see if it is genuine or a scam.
Signs to Spot an Online Shopping Scam
Discounts which are Too Good to be True
Have you ever found an unbelievable huge discount on a product that is too hard to believe? Such offers can be fake. It’s very common to receive such scam offers which aim at stealing customers’ money. Beware of such scams and always do a research on the company before placing any order.
Poor Website Design
An e-commerce website’s main target is to attract customers by making an appealing website design. A genuine website consists of clear photos, easy navigation and other attractive features. Fake websites usually lack in these. If you find any website with poor quality images, cluttered content, then it could be a fake one.
Poor quality content is another indication of a fake website. A genuine e-commerce website hires professional writers to provide good quality content without any grammatical mistakes. On the other hand, a fake website could have many grammatical and spelling mistakes even in the simplest words.
A Suspicious Domain Name
Most retail websites have a trademark of their name and their domain name also matches their name. If a website has extra words like deals, offers, sale, discount, etc., there’s a high probability that the website is a fake one.
The Site is a New One
Well, it’s of course not true for all the websites. But there’s a possibility that if a website is a recently launched one and there is no promotion of that website on common platforms, then the website could be a fake one. So, do proper research of the site if it is a new one before buying anything from it.
Unable to Pay Using Secure Payment Methods
If the seller is asking you to make your payment using unsafe payment methods such as wire transfer, Bitcoin, money order, etc., then beware! There is a very little chance to get you money back when paying by these methods. Genuine sellers always let you pay using secure methods such as PayPal, credit cards, debit cards, etc.
Asking For Sensitive Information
A retail website will require your address and contact number for obvious reasons (shipping). But in no case, it will require your confidential information such as your Social Security Number (SSN). A reliable retail website will never for your SSN.
Confusing Refund Policy
A genuine company will tell you how to return any product with clear and easy return policies. On the other hand, fraudulent websites will often have either no return policies or policies that are extremely difficult to understand. Therefore, before buying any product, check its return policy.
Well, this is the easiest way to point out a fraudulent website. Reviews from other users are helpful many times. So always, check for reviews of that particular website from its other users. You can also go through the Better Business Bureau for reviews to see if anyone has reported that site.
Reporting Online Shopping Scams
If you have accidentally made a purchase from a fraudulent website, report it to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.