Nowadays, shopping online has become an everyday thing. Every bank offers a special credit card that can be linked to an account of your favorite service. Not only are services expanding their options, but new ones show up each day. You aren’t limited to websites only, of course, everybody has a phone with them. Banking apps offer easy online payment option, or at-the-scene payment as well. You won’t need to carry any pocket change or paper money that can get lost. Just transfer the money to the banking app balance, and you can pay with a few taps of the finger.
Now, everything sounds so easy and convenient. And it truly is, who wouldn’t like to touch their phone screen and have the money deducted electronically? You won’t even need to get up from your bed to get that pizza you crave so much. But there are dangers that come with this sort of payment, especially when you don’t really have the money in your hand. You hear about hacking every day, hackers ran off with this amount of dollars, and thousands of accounts are compromised. Even though you’re sure it won’t happen to you, better be safe than sorry. Hear what we have to say about avoiding a scam when online shopping:
Try to stay away from scams
It’s important to realize that scams don’t really have a target market. You might think only the very young, or very old people get scammed. They’re more prone and usually naive, or just don’t know what the product is about, so they trust the seller. The truth is, you can be any age and get scammed, that’s what’s so wrong with it. Scams look so close to the real deal that it is hard to believe sometimes it happened to you. They usually get you because you’re a good human being, and try to be polite and generous.
The first step to protect yourself is to be aware that they’re a reality. The second one would be to always take everything with a grain of salt. They might use the Internet, or call your phone number, and ask to pay online. Be polite and listen, but do not forget to be suspicious. Try to think logically, and consider the offer, is it too good to be true? Then it probably isn’t. Another method that is constantly circling is an SMS or a mail with suspicious content. If the beginning looks unknown to you or has a bad grammar, do not open it. Also, don’t ever log in to a website provided with your info, or use any of theirs. Trust us, you won’t miss an opportunity of your lifetime, you’ll be robbed of what you have.
Choose your passwords wisely, and keep them safe
Before making an account for an online banking service, think ahead. Choose a good, strong password. Include both letters and numbers, and make it a decent length. Although people put their birthday, or their sibling’s one, it might compromise you. If they get any of your personal information from your account (you usually type it yourself when making it), that’s the first thing they’ll try. We advise you to make up a random set of numbers or invert some that have a significance to you.
To be even safer, change your password on a month-to-month basis, to ensure you’re protected and use a different one for every service. Another danger can come from your vicinity. They might be going around your neighborhood, and looking for an open WiFi network, or one with a default password. It is extremely dangerous to keep it like that, so always password-protect it. If they have access to your local internet network, and you’ve logged in to various banking or payment accounts, you might be robbed, which brings us to our next step.
Keep your personal details secure
The first precaution would be to just keep an eye on what you’re posting on social media. You’ll be surprised how much data they can gather from your account, and then use it to impersonate you. They can trick the bank or use your info to guarantee for certain services or items. You will, of course, find out all about it when an expensive bill arrives at your doorstep or a bank calls you.
Don’t answer unusual information requests
You might get an e-mail or a Facebook message. He sounds like he’s in big, big trouble, and needs just a few hundred dollars to get out. We understand you want to feel better about yourself, and be a decent human being. But it is in 99% a scam, so do not fall for it. They might use a picture of a pretty girl/boy to get to you easily, or even from one of your friends! Another way they might trick you is to help them transfer money, they’ll deposit it to your account, and let you keep some of it after the transfer is done. Do not ever agree to that, that’s a serious crime – money laundering!
Read the seller information and description
Last, but not least, the area where we commonly make mistakes. It is usually when you’re in a hurry to order an item, or there’s just one left on the website. You speed things up, enter your credit card information, and when it arrives – shock.
The item is smaller, or a completely different color, or literally – a brick. You just got scammed, and there’s a very small chance you’ll get your money back. In order to avoid that, you should be calm, pay attention to details, and check the whole page.
They usually write the most important info in smaller letters or all the way at the bottom of the page.
You need to think logically, is this price crazy low for an item? Were they giving you an impossible trade, maybe a flagship smartphone for half the price? First off, check dimensions of an item, and read the description thoroughly. Next, go ahead and read the seller information. Does he have a lot of positive reviews? Did anyone complain about him recently? If you’re buying a clothing item, take a look at the pictures, of course.
But do not blindly trust them, as they’re modeled by a person with a different body shape and height. Read which sizes and colors are available, and possibly send a message to the seller to make sure.
In the end, be careful every step of the way, stay calm and read thoroughly. Keep your data safe and check other prices for a similar item. Never buy on a whim, and if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.