The Covid world has changed our lives. Many of us are now working remotely, shopping online, and interacting with friends and family via video chatting apps like Zoom.
While the benefits of working remotely are innumerable, it has also brought with it a number of unforeseen challenges. One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the stress of working remotely to make sure you didn’t get scammed by a scammer. Here’s how to avoid getting scammed when shopping online.
Be Careful What You Order
With so many options available, it’s easy for a scammer to dupe you into ordering something you didn’t intend to. In fact, a fake order might even seem like it’s come from a trusted retailer. To protect yourself from being scammed, it’s important to be careful about what you order, especially when dealing with unknown quantities or foreign sellers. Sometimes it’s better to walk away rather than risk getting ripped off. If you discover the item you’ve been conversing with online is a scammer, you can contact the relevant authorities or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, sometimes it can be tricky to determine whether a business is actually trustworthy or not. In these cases, it’s usually best to walk away rather than risk being scammed.
Do Your Research
When researching a product or service before buying, it’s important to do your research and know everything about it. This means reading reviews, chatting with other customers, and gathering as much information as possible about what you’re buying. By taking the time to do proper research, you stand a chance of being able to tell whether or not a product or service is a scam. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult to find all the necessary information you need when shopping online. If possible, do some research offline before buying online so that you have all the necessary information at hand. Properly researching a product can make a world of difference, both in terms of keeping you safe from scammers and in terms of being able to get the best possible deal when buying online.
Don’t Be Fooled By Offers
One of the biggest red flags for a scammer is when they try and trick you into purchasing something by offering you discounts and special deals. It’s important to remain skeptical of such offers, especially when you’re dealing with an unknown or foreign entity. Offers like these can often be a ruse to get you to enter your personal information so that the scammer can steal your identity or commit fraud against you. While there are legitimate offers out there, it’s still best to avoid getting lured in by offers of special discounts unless you feel comfortable doing business with the entity.
Check Out Reviews
When doing your research, make sure to scrutinize reviews as much as possible. This way, you’ll have an idea of whether or not a certain product or service is actually good or bad. Unfortunately, not all reviews are created equal. While some could be completely truthful, others might be completely fabricated by the entity being reviewed. Knowing how to spot a fake review can help you determine whether or not to trust the review itself. In the event that you discover a review to be fake, it’s usually best to walk away rather than risk being scammed by the product or service being reviewed. Checking out reviews can be a good way to find out more about a product or service before buying, although, keep in mind that not all reviews are created equal, and you need to look out for scams as well. For more information about how to spot fake reviews, check out our blog post here.
Watch Out For Abusive Behavior
Sometimes, scammers will engage in abusive behavior toward you or other customers. For instance, they might send you hundreds of spam emails, curse at you, or even threaten you. Always be on the lookout for this kind of behavior and know how to recognize it. Abusive behavior is a major red flag that might indicate a scammer. In the event that you discover that an online entity is exhibiting abusive behavior, it’s usually best to walk away rather than risk being scammed by the entity. Remember, if someone is exhibiting abusive behavior toward you, it does not mean that you are necessarily dealing with a scammer. However, it’s still best to be on the lookout for such behavior and know how to deal with it appropriately.
Look For The Little Red Flags
While much of this article has talked about being careful about what you order and avoid getting fooled by offers, it’s also important to take note of the little things that might indicate a scammer. If you’re ordering from a country you’re not familiar with, it might be a good idea to do some research online before placing your order. In this way, you’ll have the opportunity to see if other customers have had good or bad experiences with the company. In the event that you discover that previous customers have had issues, this might be a sign that the company could be shady. Sometimes, scammers will try and trick customers by presenting themselves as someone or something they’re not. For example, they might claim to be a representative from the company, when in fact, they’re a scammer trying to dupe you. It’s important to remain vigilant and aware of these types of things so that you don’t fall for a scam.
Know How To Contact The Company Or Entity
Finally, it’s important to remember how to contact the company or entity you’re dealing with so that you can find out more information about where your order is, when it will be delivered, and so on. In some cases, the company might be able to address your concerns directly, whereas, in other cases, they might not be able to. In these cases, it’s usually best to walk away rather than risk being scammed. However, if the company is willing to engage in conversation with you, and seems responsive and legitimate, then this is a good sign that they’re probably not a scammer.
Shopping online has its perks and benefits, but it also comes with its share of risks. By keeping the tips and advice laid out in this article in mind, you can have the best possible experience shopping online while avoiding the risk of being scammed.