Online shopping is at an all time high in popularity. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, more people are looking for safe ways to do their shopping without having to put themselves at risk of catching a deadly illness.
However, online shopping doesn’t come without its risks. It can be especially risky for children and people over the age of 70 who may not be familiar with the latest scams. To help you navigate the risks, and stay as safe as possible, here are some of the best tips for avoiding online swindles.
Use Your Better Judgement
The first step in avoiding scams is using your better judgement. If something usually worth thousands of dollars is being sold for a few dollars, then chances are it’s probably a scam. Although miracles do and can happen, they are very rare. So, if you see a Tesla on sale for $200, chances are you should probably steer clear.
Only Shop on Verified Sites
The best way to stay safe is to avoid shopping anywhere other than verified websites. Go to websites which are known by other consumers, and steer clear of anything on the obscure side. When in doubt, do a Google search and look up the product that you’re looking to buy, and the website that it’s selling on. Chances are that you will come across any potential scams that people have encountered with the same offer, and you can avoid making the same mistake yourself.
Read The Reviews
Never underestimate the power of reviews before making your purchase. Get to know what other shoppers thought of the same product, and get a feel for whether it’s a good deal or not. Reviews can be one of the best ways to avoid a regretful purchase decision. This is one of the reasons why Amazon has become such a successful website because people value reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. As a general rule of thumb, anything under 3.5 stars is better left alone.
Verify the Address
Always make sure that you read the web address thoroughly. There are some websites which lead you to believe you’re visiting another one. For example comment if you click on an ad from a third party website, and believe that you’re visiting your favorite online store, it could just be a phishing scam. You may not be on the real website at all, but rather and imitated version of it that looks real but it is not. Check the URL and ensure that it doesn’t have any extra letters, or symbols. Lastly, you should look at the bottom of a web page to ensure that it’s a verified site before giving your credit card information.