The holiday season is approaching and people are getting ready to do their holiday shopping online. With the growing number of opportunities to shop and the growing popularity of online shopping, it’s more important than ever to be aware of potential online shopping scams.
There is nothing more disappointing than anticipating the arrival of packages filled with gifts, only to find out that they never made it. It is important to know the signs of a scam so you can avoid them before it is too late.
Tips to avoid scams
If you’re planning to do your holiday shopping online this year, you should know that the Internet is full with potential dangers. Here are some tips to help you avoid scams.
- Watch out for emails that request personal information or payment information.
- Research the website you are visiting by searching for the site on search engines like Google or Yahoo
- Be wary of software downloads, especially if they require payment. Some might be infected with viruses or spyware that can infect your computer and steal private information. 4. If you are using an auction website, make sure the seller has a good reputation. You can check this by reading ratings or comments left by other buyers on the site before you purchase an item from them.
- Never pay by wire transfer, money order, cashier’s check or prepaid debit cards to unknown individuals or companies. These forms of payments are untraceable and difficult to recover if the company is fraudulent.
- Avoid giving out your credit card information unless you use a trusted site that has a high level of security. Credit card numbers should be encrypted when being transmitted over the internet.
- Watch out for free shipping offers. Check carefully to make sure you know what you’re paying for before you complete your purchase. The site may have a fee that’s not disclosed until checkout — or worse, charge you without your permission after you’ve already completed your order.