The Internet is amazing. With it, we can learn about almost anything there is in the world. Different cultures, music, food, and many more exotic things. You can also buy most things online, no matter where they are from. Anything like this was impossible before the Internet existed!
There’s something you should be aware of. There’s a lot of bad people online. Con artists, scammers, hackers, and thieves – the kind of people who want to steal your money with no remorse whatsoever. If you want to avoid falling into their trap, follow these six tips to avoid losing money while shopping online!
1. Only High-Ranking Pages
You might think you found an incredible deal on clothes or electronics. A 50% off one-time offer, something that you would beat yourself over with if you missed it. So, you rush your way into buying it.
You are so happy about it, you saved almost $200! After the payment is processed, something feels wrong. You check the store’s Instagram profile and they have less than 100 followers – what’s going on?
Well, you probably stumbled upon a barely-starting online store. But, more likely than not, you got scammed. You will lose your money unless you refund that payment.
Whenever you’re shopping online, be patient and check if the store’s account is verified and their number of followers is high. Scam artists are constantly opening and closing their stores, and they usually have no high-ranking pages.
2. Read Reviews Before Shopping
A lot of scammers go through a lot of hard work before they go live with their fake online stores. They will create an honest-looking website and pay people to write good reviews for them. Sometimes, they write the reviews themselves. Because of that, their store might seem like it’s a 5-stars website – even though it’s nothing but a scam.
Don’t worry, though! Fake reviews are easy to spot. The first thing you have to do is look for the reviewers’ names. If there are plenty of common first names but no last names – i.e., John A., Karen M., Steve P. -, it’s probably a scam. If they all write similarly, it’s most definitely a scam.
3. Use Spokeo Reverse Phone Lookup
The best way to check whether you are facing a fake online store or not is to know the identity of the people behind the website. Most sites have contact information, including a phone number. You can use that phone number to check the criminal record of whoever is running a website using Spokeo reverse number lookup or Spokeo email search.
Spokeo is an easy-to-use website where you could check the background of anyone as long as you have some sort of information about them. For example, their full name, e-mail or phone number. All you have to do is write it down on Spokeo’s search bar and you could get all the information you need!
As long as you know who is behind the store, you cannot get scammed.
4. No Full Pre-Payments
Never send a full pre-payment, no matter what. If someone is rushing you to send the money over before you even get a look at the product, they are trying to scam you.
This is a common tactic among con-artists. They will try to create a sense of urgency. That way, you will feel that you are about to miss an opportunity unless you comply. And when you do, they will get your money and disappear.
Some sites will ask for some sort of pre-payment, but will never ask a full price if they are not scammers.
5. Avoid Services Like “More Subscribers in One Click”
You should always be aware of people offering to increase your follower count, no matter what kind of social media account you have. These people are advertising a way to cheat the system, something that it’s against the rules in most (if not all) social media apps.
If they are willing to cheat the system, they are probably willing to cheat you out of your money.
6. Do Not Share Personal Data Online
This is the internet’s golden rule. Do not give your credit card information to anyone unless they use a secure website. Your passwords are yours alone and never will a non-scammer ask for them. You should be as anonymous as possible whenever you are online – most of your personal data should be available offline, never online.
Otherwise, you are bound to get your identity stolen and lose a lot of money online. Stay safe!
About the Author
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.