Online shopping-ranges from clothes to groceries to home appliances and everything else, everything is in front of us. We usually check things online and buy them, sounds simple, right? Now here’s the catch! What if I say it is a scam? It may shock you but it is still true. In the name of online shopping you are being scammed!
You may not believe it but hackers have find a way to get into your systems through your shopping carts. The worst part is when you realise it, it is already too late.
Online shopping is becoming a necessity amidst this pandemic and will become our future too but does that mean we will continue falling in this trap? I don’t think so. So what are shopping scams basically? How do they work? And how can we protect ourselves from getting scammed? We need to know all about this. So let’s get started with this.
What are online shopping scams and how do they work?
When the scammers pretend to be legitimate online sellers by either using a fake ad on a genuine retailer website or by making a fake website, it is termed as an online shopping scam.
It has become really easy for the scammers to use the latest technology and scam people by making fake retailer websites that actually looks like a real one. To make their site look legitimate scammers even use sophisticated designs, logo and layouts. They try to use domain names that doesn’t sound too fishy.
There’s no denying that people will always get lured towards something . If someone says a branded bag or shoe is being sold somewhere at half of the original price, you will at least wan to look at it once. Because it is such an easy trap that anyone can fall in it. It is simple, you’ll see their fake ad, checkout their websites, products and prices and then you’ll place an order. Now that you have already paid for the product, there are high chances that either you won’t get them or you’ll get a fake product. Either ways you got scammed.
One of the most important things you need to see is how you are paying for your product. It is very obvious that cash on delivery will not be an option for these sites. They will always ask you to pay beforehand by using online payment methods. This is one good way to see if the website is fake or not. Another way of scamming people is by advertising these fake websites on social media. You may have come across ads on social media but not all of them are genuine. So before you make any purchase just see the reviews of the products.
Protecting yourselves from online shopping scams:
- Shop from a legitimate website. You can differentiate it from a fake one by checking the URL of the website. It should begin with “https” instead of “http”. shopping from a secured website means that it is encrypted and your personal details are safe there.
- You should always know that no online retailer is going to ask for your social security number to complete a transaction. If they are doing it, understand that they are trying to scam you.
- Try using unique usernames and passwords for different websites so that hackers can’t get into them and steal your credit card information. Make sure you are using Best Antivirus Software. But you should aware about do’s and don’ts about antivirus software that also helps to prevent from online shopping scams..
- Don’t fall for things that look too good to be true. No legitimate website or brand would drop their rates so low. If you are seeing it then just stay away from it. Those price tags are screaming nothing but “THIS IS A SCAM”. There are offers on social media that claim to offer you some prize (anything branded and expensive) for free just in return of you liking their page. Who on earth is doing that?
- Using public Wi-Fi for shopping purpose is a big big no. You data isn’t encrypted and hackers can easily get into your system and steal all your personal information. These password less Wi-Fi networks are usually created by the hackers. The minute you connect to them your system is hacked and the hackers have the access to your phone.
- It is true that sometimes there can be a sale on your favourite online retailer and because you are registered on their website you’ll get the mail about it too. But sometimes these hackers create bogus websites somewhat exactly like the original ones that you get scammed even before knowing about it. So you should check the page thoroughly like by checking the URL, grammatical and spelling errors, etc.