How to avoid online shopping scams in 2018

If you’re shopping online this year make sure you avoid the online scams. Here are a few tips to make sure you get what you pay for and the customer service that you deserve.

  1. Check for reviews on the site you’re shopping at from an independent source
  2. Contact the company before giving them money
  3. Check out their Facebook page
  4. Pay by PayPal or Credit Card
  5. Make sure you’re paying in Canadian Dollars
  6. Ignore High Pressure Sales Tactics

Do your research

I’m sure that you’ve seen them. Ads on Facebook for items at prices that are too good to be true. You click on the link and it takes you to a very professional looking website offering to sell name brand products at huge discounts. There’s usually a timer counting down a few hours or minutes until the sale is over. Some even have a pop up in the lower corner telling what customer just what bought which product making the urgency more real. You need to buy now so that you don’t miss out!

But slow down, spend a few minutes and do a bit of research. Five minutes of your time can make the difference between a great deal and having your identity and credit card number floating around the dark corners of the internet for sale or trade. Don’t get stung in an online scam!

Check their reviews

#1 – Go to scamadviser.com and type in the website address. You will get a rating, a website age and a country of origin. If the website is less than a few months old or the rating is poor close your browser and consider yourself to have been saved from another online scam. You can also check for Google Reviews as well as independent sites such as TrustPilot.com

Check their contact information

#2 – If the Scamadviser website says they are OK or there may be a risk then you need to check a little farther. Go to the contact page of their website and see where they are located. If they don’t list their address and phone number its time to get nervous about this being just one more online hoverboard scam. If they do list their address then copy it and Google it. Make sure the name Google comes up with matches the company name. Also, if they have an email address that matches the website you can feel safer. But send them an email asking a simple question like “Where do you ship from” or “How long is the sale on” Wait for a reply before you order unless you have already gained full confidence that they are legit.

Check Social Media

#3 – If it was a Facebook ad that referred you to them go to their Facebook page and check for reviews and comments. No comments means that they have comments hidden or blocked to prevent you from seeing their bad service or scam. That’s a big red flag. No Facebook public comments means save your money and run away.

Pay Securely

#4 – If everything above makes them look safe but you still have a negative feeling then pay by PayPal. They will ensure your safety of payment and charge back the seller if you don’t get your order or if it’s not as described or defective. Your next best bet is to use a low limit or temporary credit card. You can always have PayPal or your credit card company get your money back for you if it is an online scam.

What Currency are you paying in?

#5 – Everything has checked out. You found a legitimate hoverboard store with good prices and great reviews. But wait, have you checked to make sure that you’re actually paying in Canadian Dollars? If the price is too good to be true it may be because you are actually paying in US Dollars. So add 30% to the price, factor in about $50 for brokerage that you’re going to get a bill for and now see how good of a deal it is.

High Pressure Sales Tactics

#6 – A sure sign that you’re buying from a store that is not looking out for you is the High Pressure to Sell. If you find a count-down timer telling you the sale is ending in 24 hours, it’s a scam. If you find pop-ups telling you that “Joe from some town just bought a blue one” you know that it’s a lie. All they want to do is to get your money before you leave and don’t come back. A reliable store may have sales that last for a limited time but they will still be there to help you down the road.

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If you follow these steps then you should rest assured that the website and the hidden face behind it is actually a legitimate company offering, selling and standing behind the products that they sell.

About The Author

I am a small business owner for over 25 years and believe that the best customer service possible is the key to a successful business.

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