Online shopping truly has lots of benefits, however, the greatest risk that comes with it is getting scammed. Scammed online shoppers’ experiences are various yet also common with each other. Scammers pretend to be real sellers, and when a customer bites onto the bait, they will give fake products or worst, they will be already unreachable via their contact numbers as they already ran away with the money they gathered.
It’s definitely saddening to get scammed because aside from it’s a waste of money, it’s a waste of time, and it doesn’t feel good to get fooled! To help you, here are 7 things for you to take important note of to avoid getting scammed while shopping online!
#1 – WEBSITE
One of the things at risk when it comes to online shopping is security. It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know and you haven’t seen yet. A basic way to check your security when shopping online is to check the online shopping website’s URL. An “https” signals that it’s secured. Try searching the site via Google, and there are scam monitoring sites which you can also use.
#2 – SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Online shopping sites and sellers also have social media accounts and pages to reach wider audiences. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are commonly used because aside from countless netizens use them, long posts with photos can be put up there. People’s profile can also be easily checked through such platforms.
Check ratings and reviews from resellers and buyers! It is very important to know others’ experiences buying from the online seller. Reviews may also be faked using sham accounts, so slightly stalking at the people who review the page won’t hurt. It is easier to know how active the online seller is if you see their activities and posts. Check how many people liked the page. If you know someone or an FB friend you know beyond Facebook, reach out to ask about the page if it seems helpful.
#3 – REQUIREMENTS
As part of your security in online shopping, the requirements that the online sellers ask should also be paid attention to. They ask for important identification details such as your name, your contact number and your address for shipping. Aside from your orders, these are the basic requirements when you do online shopping. Beware of those that ask for details that provide access to your money and that give out credit card information and other card numbers such as that of a driver’s license.
Be careful with the payment transactions you make. Be alarmed also if you’re buying an expensive product and the online sellers ask for the full payment. In usual scam cases where online shoppers send the full payment, the online seller no longer responds to messages and can’t be reached and searched. Face-to-face meetup for payments is better, unless the online shopping site is really well-known for a very long time now. When paying online, use a secure payment service.
#4 – MESSAGES
Being a detail-oriented and grammar conscious person helps when it comes to identifying an online shopping scammer. Although it isn’t the main basis to determine an online shopping scammer, it can also give you a hint. Contact the online shopping site or its social media page. If it responds, check how they respond — the way the message is composed and structured, the spelling, the grammar. Little details can mean a lot to let you know if you must trust that online shopping seller.
Reaching out through email will give you a clearer view since it’s used for more formal purposes, unlike FB chat. Legit online shopping sites know how to respond properly with the right sentence construction whether it’s via their contact form or their email address.
#5 – DISCOUNTS
One of online shopping’s benefits would be having more discount offers and opportunities than physical shopping. Be wary, however, of discounts that sound so impossible but they say aren’t. Everybody knows how to get every customer’s heart and money is to spread discounts, and so, think again if you see a post online that shows very low prices. Products might be of bad quality, fake or expired.
#6 – CHEAP
If you’re really interested in buying a certain product from an online shopping site or page but hesitant of its trustworthiness and response time, try buying a cheap product first. You can do this if you are not in a hurry and if you surely want to purchase something costly from them.
#7 – POLICIES
Sometimes, people overlook or ignore the policies posted on the online shopping site. It is very important to read, understand and remember the terms and conditions that they have, most especially when it comes to payments and refunds in any case of returning or replacing the products.
Legit online shopping sellers have fair policies which do not make the customer doubt or fear. Your rights are written there so make sure to read every part. Don’t sign or completely agree if there’s something suspicious or unfavorable about their policies. If you do, you might have a hard time defending yourself if ever you’re actually scammed, and you don’t know. Terms and agreement copies are usually skipped by readers, but doing that is a key for online shopping scammers to take advantage of you.
Online shopping is without a doubt time-saving, energy-saving and even money-saving, but being too reckless and unmindful may lead you to getting scammed and robbed, not only of your money but also of your personal information. Keep an eye on those significant factors for you to save yourself from online shopping scammers. Safe and happy shopping!
Nicole Ann Pore is a daytime writer for Zapals, an internationally renowned, global shopping website, providing an extensive range of high quality products at the lowest prices. | Because of the course she took up in college, she has become interested in film critiquing and filmmaking. She is into events hosting and voice over acting and hosting. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts. “To God be all the glory”