Going on an Online Shopping Spree? Beware of These Scams

Going on an Online Shopping Spree? Beware of These Scams

Shopping online comes with numerous benefits – a wide selection of products, avoiding long lines, various discounts, free shipping in some cases, and many more. But if you enjoy online shopping, you have to know more about potential scams you could encounter. So, keep reading and learn how to protect your personal and financial data while shopping!


Common online shopping scams

There's nothing more exciting than finding a new online store that offers incredible discounts, free shipping, and other benefits. But you still need to verify if the business is legitimate and what happens with your information. Here is a list of the most common online shopping scams:


Fake online stores

Unfortunately, not every online store is real. Cybercriminals can create a website dedicated to their latest scam, which could look completely genuine. So, if you have found a new store through ads or while searching for particular items, take a closer look at the small details.


Are prices too low? Is there a physical location connected to this store? Have you ever heard of the brand before finding the website? Are there any spelling mistakes? If anything seems sketchy, search for user reviews. Trustpilot can be an excellent resource for information regarding online businesses.


Unsecured payment

Fake websites don't bother to secure payment for their potential customers, so search for the e-brand logo somewhere in the shop. It should be near the bottom of the page, alongside FAQ and general information.


These businesses might request a wire transfer or even a gift card for payment. If you have fallen victim to a website without secure payment, you cannot get your money back. Furthermore, your ordered items will probably never arrive, and your bank won't be able to get your money back either.


Phishing emails

Some cybercriminals attempt phishing to obtain financial information from their targets. They might create an email that looks like it's from a real business and ask you to review your profile or payment info.


The linked website could look like the original, so make sure to check the email message itself. For instance, the email address of the sender is usually random. Legitimate retailers won't use Gmail for official messages.


How to avoid online scams

Luckily, learning how to spot online shopping scams is not too complicated. Here's where to start:


Use a VPN

A VPN is a fantastic cybersecurity tool overall. It can protect your IP address and encrypt the traffic so no one else can see the websites you frequent. You'll avoid those pesky targeted ads that seem to appear out of nowhere, thanks to ISP tracking. Since a VPN can secure your connection, switch it on when online shopping from your favorite café or while on the move.


Encryption will ensure your information is secure during the transaction and protect you from eavesdropping, which occasionally happens on public Wi-Fi networks. VPN costs are not high, and the app can be used in multiple situations across different devices. All in all, VPN costs are low, but the app comes with incredible security features.


Monitor your bank statements

Checking your bank statements frequently can help you manage your money efficiently and warn you about unauthorized transactions. If you notice unfamiliar activity, contact your bank and ask for assistance. They will know what to do.


Payment services like PayPal are sometimes a better option when shopping online because you don't need to type in your credit card number. Consider using payment services next time because it is another way of protecting your financial information.


Research a retailer

A brand-new shop that offers unbelievable deals is usually created to lure in customers. When something looks too good to be true, it usually is a scam. So, before you put items in your online shopping cart, find out more about the shop through user reviews. We have already mentioned TrustPilot, but just typing in the name of the shop should list experiences by other customers, especially if the shop is a scam.