Once again we have to talk about online shopping. How easy and how comfortable shopping online is. But what do you really have to worry about ? Keep in mind that a scam is just a space away from your click.
Online shopping scams involve scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine retailer site. While many online sellers are legitimate, unfortunately, scammers can use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off unsuspecting shoppers.
They usually use the latest technology to set up fake retailer websites that look like genuine online retail stores. They may use sophisticated designs and layouts, possibly stolen logos, and even a ‘.com.au’ domain name and stolen Australian Business Number (ABN).
Many of these websites offer luxury items such as popular brands of clothing and jewelry at very low prices. When you close your transaction you can alternatively receive the item you paid for but it will be a fake, other you will receive no item at all.
The biggest tip-off that a retail website is a scam is the method of payment. Scammers will often ask you to pay using a money order, pre-loaded money card, or wire transfer, but if you send your money this way, it’s unlikely you will see it again or receive your purchased item.
A newer version of online shopping scams involves the use of social media platforms to set up fake online stores. They open the store for a short time, often selling fake branded clothing or jewelry. After making a number of sales, the stores disappear. They also use social media to advertise their fake website, so do not trust a site just because you have seen it advertised or shared on social media. The best way to detect an fake trader or social media online shopping scam is to search for reviews before purchasing. Warning signs A product is advertised at an unbelievably low price, or advertised to have amazing benefits or features that sound too good to be true or it does not provide adequate information about privacy, terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution or contact details. The seller may be based overseas, or the seller does not allow payment through a secure payment service such as PayPal or a credit card transaction.
To protect yourself you have to check if the website or social media page has a refund or returns policy, and that their policies sound fair. The better online shopping and auction sites have detailed complaint or dispute handling processes in case something goes wrong. But above all, remember that a price that is too low compared to the market value, undoubtedly, will hide a scam.