Today not only big retailers but also small and budding stores are trying to create an online presence through their own online shopping sites, entrepreneurs create online-only stores that ship products directly from warehouses. This has also raised a situation when frauds are committed through fake shopping websites. Online shopping scams are quite common form of theft now a days and  An odd-looking site or too-good-to-be-true deal might be the work of scammer rather than an e-commerce. Today we are trying to give some online shopping safety tips so that our readers shop smart and stay secured :

 

Things To Look Out While Shopping Online :

Before you confirm any of your order you must carefully notice following things, Then try to understand online shopping safety tips below.

 

LACK OF CONTACT INFORMATION

 

false contact information

 

Look out for a very clear contact number and mailing address before you decide whether the site is genuine. Even businesses that don’t have storefronts must be based somewhere. Look for contact information or an “about” page to learn something about the business. The absence of an address or contact phone number could indicate trouble. Most fake Shopping websites leave their contact page with just a contact form and nothing else. NO contact E-mail address, NO Phone number, NO physical address. If they do provide you with more contact information like Email address, it will be often unprofessional. For example, a Gmail or a Hotmail email address like cheapshoesstore@gmail.com is unprofessional and is a sign of a scam. Most of Legit stores have professional email address under their own domain name like Amazon.com has cis@amazon.com. You must also try their phone number and rate their customer service for further inquiry.

 

UNSECURE SITE

 

unsecured http sites

 

 

This is an important part. Now when you are on the checkout page, look at your URL bar of your browser and see if there is Padlock icon (usually in Green color) and the URL starts with https:// , This is because secure websites — indicated by “https” rather than “http” at the beginning of a URL — encrypt data such as payment information.When you connect to a server using HTTPs, the “s” stands for secure. More specifically, your HTTP request is using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL is a protocol used to secure communications between a client and server. The protocol employs encryption to keep eavesdroppers from “hearing” your conversation. It also keeps a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) hacker from hijacking your conversation. The hacker that perpetrates a MITM can feed you false info and gather info from you that you assume is protected. We will come back to the risks of not using a secure connection later. Do not submit personal or financial data to unsecured sites. Web browsers also help shoppers notice when a site is, or isn’t, secure. Look for a closed lock, often in green, in the address bar. An open lock and red background indicate the site isn’t using the secure protocol to send and receive data.

Read more online shopping safety tips, Click HERE

FAKE TRUST SEALS

 

fake trust seals

Trust seals can indicate a site is monitored or is known to use security measures to protect users’ data. These trust seals come in a variety of flavors including: VeriSign, GeoTrust, Norton Secure, and Comodo that let consumers know that their transactions are secure; McAfee Secure, and Trustwave that inform users that websites are free from vulnerabilities; TRUSTe that indicates websites have certain external standards for privacy; and BBB Online that lets users know the company has a good reputation.These services require daily scans – websites that fail the scans will be removed from the programs and have their trust seals revoked. Because of that consumers can rest assured that the sites displaying trust seals – as well as their personal information – are secure and protected against the most recent vulnerabilities. And if a certificate expires, the trust seal goes away. But always don’t take the image as proof, however — anyone can copy and paste one onto a website despite copyright restrictions. The seal should be clickable, leading either to the seal provider’s website or a pop-up that signals its validity. The lack of a seal doesn’t necessarily mean a site is unsafe, but a seal that isn’t clickable could be a worrying sign.

 

SCAREWARE

 

scareware

 

On a supposed e-commerce website, a pop-up may appear warning that the site isn’t safe and directing shoppers to download a browser update or anti-virus software. Be aware that the download may actually be the virus. Fake warnings can appear almost identical to legitimate warnings, If this bogus software is downloaded onto your computer, a variety of outcomes could occur. A “false” security check may be run, telling you that you have a virus and subsequently scare you into paying for more fake products. Not only does this trick you into spending money, but also gives you an untrue sense of security since you are not actually being protected from the many cyber threats out there today. Read this Tech-Support pop up scam blog for further assistance, click Here.

 

UNNECESSARY CHECKOUT INFO

 

scam mails

Online sellers must gather buyers’ payment information and shipping addresses. Some retailers may ask buyers to sign up for an email newsletter and to provide extra personal information, such as shopping preferences or annual income. The data can help them better understand their customers and target emails. But a trustworthy site won’t ask for unnecessary personal data, such as Social Security number or mother’s pre-marriage name.

Read more online shopping safety tips, Click HERE

 

TERRIBLE SITE REVIEWS

 

Bad site reviews

 

While shopping in a unfamiliar shopping site you must read their customer reviews, spend a few minutes looking for reviews or complaints. Search the website’s name alongside “review” or “scam” and read a few of the top results. Don’t be too quick to conclude anything from an aggregate negative rating. The site may not be a scam, but the products it sells may be deficient or customer service may be lacking. Of course, those are also reasons to reconsider a purchase.

 

UNPROTECTED PAYMENT METHODS

 

unprotected payment methods

 

When buying a product online, look for well-known payment methods, such as major credit cards. Cards from the major issuers have zero-liability policies, which can protect cardholders if their information is used to make unauthorized purchases. PayPal is a common and trustworthy way to make purchases because it adds a layer of security: Shoppers input only their PayPal account information, not debit or credit card details. (Still, there are many scams that involve PayPal-look alike websites or emails, so proceed with caution.) If a seller or online retailer asks for a wire transfer or personal check, that’s likely a sign to back off. Once a check has been sent to an unscrupulous vendor, there might not be anything you can do to get the money back.

 

COUPON GIVEAWAYS

 

Fake shopping coupons

 

Looking for coupon or discount codes before checking out can lead to savings. But watch out for coupon scams. Scammers often use Facebook and other social media outlets to post and give away fake coupons in exchange for personal information that they use or sell later.

 

FALSE FOOTER & COMPANY NAME :

 

False Website Footer

 

Is the name “G Star jackets for men Sale Powered” a legit company name ? Of course it is not. There is no reference to a legit company name, an address or a contact information. Every legitimate and trusted website should always have the name of the company located in the footer near the copyright text, with at least the company’s address or the company’s VAT/IVA ID (if in EU).

Browsing malicious and unprotected websites also cause harm to your computer. Please check now if your computer is Malware effected please read this blog HERE.

 

 

How this Online shopping scam works ?

Before you read online shopping safety tips you should know how the scams work :

 

Fake retailer websites

Scammers are clever enough to cheat you by creating false retailer websites, They are using very improved technology to steal your money this way. They may use sophisticated designs and layouts, they can even steal logos to mimic a website and even a ‘.com ‘ name and stolen Business Number (ABN). Your biggest chance to identify any scam is by the website’s payment method, Always pay by cards. If the website is asking for a money order then you are probably not going to receive the ordered product ever in your lifetime.

 

Online auction sites

fake online auction site

Mostly scammers know the strict policies of online auction sites and it is nearly impossible for them to cheat you through a proper auction website, So they tempt customers to make a deal outside that site and offer you a great bid that you have won. Once they have your money, you will never hear from them again and the auction site will not be able to help you.

 

Online classified websites

 

online classified sites

 

Online classified websites promote the sale of goods and services, but allow sellers and potential buyers to negotiate on a price outside of the website.

Scammers may pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads for anything, such as rental properties, pets, used cars, boats, bikes, caravans and horses. The scammers may advertise items at a price much lower than comparable items advertised on the same site. These are known as classified scams.

Read more online shopping safety tips, Click HERE

 

online shopping scam statistics

 

Info source : Scamwatch

 

online shopping safety tips

 

  •  Try not to explore new or unfamiliar shopping websites , This may cost you a lot.
  • Look for the website link as described before.
  • Don’t share your passwords or any personal information.
  • Check you bank statements so that any suspicious activity may be identified quickly.
  • Secure your PC with best quality antiviruses.

For more tips please read our Online Banking Security blog so that you can stay perfectly safe, click HERE

 

Hope you liked the blog about online shopping safety tips.

 

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