10 Essential Tips to Spot & Avoid Online Shopping Scams

Online shopping can sometimes be risky due to scams and fraudulent websites. While shopping online, it’s important to ensure the legitimacy of the website. In this blog, I’ll jot down a few tips and tricks to spot and avoid online shopping scams. Let’s get started!

10 Tips To Spot Online Shopping Scams

1. Check the URL

Make sure that the website URL starts with “https://” instead of “http://”. The “s” stands for secure, meaning that the site uses encryption to protect your data. In addition, beware of unusual or misspelled domain names. Scammers often use domain names similar to famous brands but with slight variations.

2. Look for Contact Information

A legitimate website always provides a physical address and a customer service phone number. Verify the address through a quick online search. Try contacting the customer service number to check if it is operational and how responsive they are.

3. Read Reviews and Ratings

It is very important to check reviews and ratings on independent review sites like Trustpilot, Better Business Bureau (BBB), or Google Reviews. Be cautious if you can’t locate any reviews or if all the reviews are positive without any negatives. On the other hand, you can also check their social media pages for customer feedback and interaction. A lack of presence or negative comments is mostly a red flag.

4. Check for Red Flags on the Website

Fair businesses invest in professional website design. Numerous spelling and grammar mistakes can indicate a scam. Extremely low prices or incredible deals are often used to entice unsuspicious customers. So, try to cross-check the prices from the other websites or pages, before ordering something available at a low cost.

5. Verify Payment Methods

Legitimate websites offer secure payment methods for instance credit cards and trusted payment processors like PayPal. Don’t purchase stuff from websites that only accept untraceable payment methods like wire transfers or gift cards.

6. Check the Return and Refund Policy

Reputable websites will have explicit return and refund policies. If the policies are missing or unclear, it might be a scam. Secondly, read the terms and conditions thoroughly to understand your rights as a customer.

7. Look for Trust Seals

Trust seals from associations like Norton Secured, McAfee Secure, or BBB Accredited imply a safe website. However, verify these seals by clicking on them to confirm they are legitimate and not just images.

8. Use Online Scam Checkers

Use online tools and browser extensions to identify fraudulent websites. For instance, ScamAdviser, Web of Trust (WOT), and SiteJabber.

9. Consult with Friends and Family

Word of Mouth is also very important while shopping online. Ask friends and family if they have heard of or used the website. Personal recommendations can be very trustworthy.

10. Trust Your Instincts

If something feels bad about the website, it’s better to be cautious. Trust your instincts and avoid making a purchase.

By following these tips, you can protect yourself from online shopping scams and ensure a safer and more secure shopping experience. If you have experienced something bad while shopping online, do share it with us in the comment section.

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Laiba Mohsin

Laiba is an Electrical Engineer seeking a placement to gain hands-on experience in relevant areas of telecommunications. She likes to write about tech and gadgets. She loves shopping, traveling and exploring things.

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