5 More Tips To Help Avoid Online Shopping ScamsBy Robert Siciliano Feb 20, 2012 | 03:10 pmPosted in: Personal Safety
When you think Presidents Day, you probably think “auto sales” which tells you how well car dealerships have done with marketing cars on this holiday. But retailers both online and brick/mortar are also having crazy sales too. Here are 5 online shopping scams to watch out for and how to protect yourself.
#1 Fake auctions: It’s not uncommon for an eBay auction to be set up by a scammer who has no intention of ever sending a product.
SOLUTION: Whenever you decide to make an eBay purchase, look at the seller’s history. eBay is based on the honor system. If a seller is established and has a record of positive feedback, they should be trustworthy.
#2 Credit card fraud. Hacked retailer database are a huge problem. Millions and millions of credit card numbers have been stolen because of unsecured sites.
SOLUTION: Pay close attention to your statements. Check for fraud at least once every two weeks, and refute unauthorized charges within two billing cycles.
#3 Debit card fraud. If your debit card is compromised, that money comes out of your bank account directly and immediately. This can happen if your PC has a virus, the site has a security issue, or through a number of other ways.
SOLUTION: Use credit cards because they offer more protection and less liability. And protect your PC with antivirus.
#4 Check for online shopping scams. Internet retailers know that after you send a check, the money has been taken from your account, and the goods you’ve ordered fail to arrive, getting your money back proves difficult—if not impossible.
SOLUTION: Avoid paying by checks. It’s fine to use checks in person, but when using an unfamiliar virtual website, it is not.
#5 Phantom sites: These are websites that spring up temporarily simply to get your credit card info.
SOLUTION: Do business with online shopping sites you know, like, and trust. I, for one, am guilty of buying from retailers who offer the best deals. But I only buy low-ticket items from unfamiliar sellers, generally spending less than $50. It’s best to buy high-ticket items exclusively from retailers that also have brick and mortar locations.
Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch.Disclosures.
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