With so many shopping options available online, it’s important to be able to tell real products from scams. Otherwise, you could fall victim to credit card or debit fraud, receive a counterfeit product, or even lose money altogether.
Be especially wary of sites offering ridiculous discounts on branded items. And avoid sites that accept payment methods such as wire transfers, pre-loaded money cards or cashier’s checks.
1. Look for reviews.
Online shopping can be a great way to save money and access a wide selection of products, but it can also lead to fraud and scams. According to Experian, shoppers who buy from shady websites are seven times more likely to be victimized by debit and credit card scams and website is https://islegitorscam.com.
Look for reviews that are black-and-white, avoiding wording such as “out-of-this-world lightning speed” and “unparalleled data transmission speed” – these types of descriptions are typically used in marketing. Also be wary of reviews that sound generic or are written in less-than-standard English.
Look for new websites with suspicious URLs or misspellings – these may be fake sites created by malicious vendors trying to avoid being caught.
2. Check the company’s reputation.
Online shopping can save you money and give you access to a wide variety of products. However, hackers and scammers are always looking for ways to steal your information or rip you off by selling fake products.
One way to spot a scam site is by checking the company’s reputation. Do a quick Google search to see what comes up about the company or product. If you see a lot of negative news, that’s a red flag.
Another way to check a company’s reputation is to look at their return policy. Reputable retailers make their return policies clear and easy to understand. Scammers, on the other hand, often make theirs confusing or sketchy.
3. Check the product’s specifications.
Everyone loves a deal, but it’s important to be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Many scam shops sell cheap branded products like electronics and clothing at prices that are too low to be legitimate. These items often end up being knockoffs or even nonexistent.
Also be wary of suspicious warranties and return policies. Malicious vendors typically impose short warranty periods or require the product to be shipped back to them (usually overseas) before a refund can be processed. These policies are almost always a red flag.
4. Check the price.
If you see a price that is significantly lower than the normal retail price, it is usually a red flag. Many malicious vendors use flash sales and other time-limited offers to create a sense of urgency and push people into buying.
These prices are also typically advertised with grammatical blunders, such as Louis Vuitton being misspelled as “Vitton” or Versace being misspelled as Vasache. These errors aren’t always just mistakes — they can be used to cover up fraud, according to Experian.
It’s also important to consider the warranty and return policy. If the product you are purchasing has a very short warranty or doesn’t offer an easy return option, it is probably a scam.
5. Check the shipping time.
As shopping online spikes during the holidays, so does the risk of encountering fake or dishonest retail websites. These slick-looking sites lure buyers with a “too good to be true” price on hot products, then the goods don’t show up or look nothing like they do in pictures.
Always check a site’s terms and conditions, refund and privacy policies before making a purchase. Legitimate retailers will also display seals from consumer protection organizations such as Better Business Bureau Online and TRUSTe.
Taking basic precautions when shopping online can help shoppers avoid scammers faster than they can say, “Scam-azon.” Try downloading a free and effective download such as McAfee WebAdvisor to protect yourself from debit and credit card scams, malware and other threats.
6. Check the shipping address.
Everyone loves a good deal, but online shoppers should be cautious of prices that are too good to be true. Scammers often create fake online stores or advertise on marketplace websites to lure unsuspecting shoppers. To check if a website is legitimate, you can search the company name with “scam” or “review” added to see any complaints from other customers.
Another red flag is a sketchy warranty and returns policy. If a product goes for hundreds of dollars but has only a few days’ return window, it could be a scam. It’s also smart to use a credit card instead of debit when shopping online, since credit cards offer fraud protection.