Avoid getting scammed online

Avoiding the e-shopping scams

Due to rise of the Internet, it is very easy for anyone to visit any e-store, go through the available items and select items you want delivered to your home. However, one major concern when shopping online is the security risk involved. With the increasing popularity and accessibility of the Internet, e-shopping cannot be stopped regardless of the large number of scammers present over various platforms. However, there are measures that can help prevent the loss of money and fraud.

It is essential to verify if the means of contact provided by seller websites are real. Most companies have a distinct page where contact details like phone number, office address, and e-mail address appears. These credentials, when used appropriately, are a good indication if the seller is authentic or not.

A specific directory by the name of reverse phone lookup enables you to cross-match the telephone number with the user’s location. Look for the telephone number’s owner through his name, compare it with the data provided on the contact web-page.

However, you can make no guarantee whether a website is real or not just by studying contact information. As a rule of thumb, fish for the red flags, most common errors on such sites are grammatical and the vocabulary used is often poor.

What to do if you think you have been scammed?

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how safe you play it – you may still get scammed. So what do you do?

First, you need to make sure that you are indeed being scammed.

  • You are yet to receive the goods that you purchased – check with the seller!
  • Were the pricings too high for the respected item – look for additional charges like shipping or duties.
  • There might be charges on the bill that you never authorized – did you miss some fine print or clauses?

If you conclude that you have really been scammed, there are a few things you can do.

Contact the company that operates your Credit Card, or your bank

If there are unwanted charges on your invoice, contact your card operating company or your bank as soon as possible. Communicate your situation clearly, allowing them to take appropriate steps to avoid these circumstances in the future.

Your bank would be able to withhold any cheques, debit card transactions, or any other means of payment. The credit card operator may suspend your card for a specific period. Quite a few financial organizations have a fraud protection system; it primarily covers non-consensual payments, but you’ve to report the scam on the dot, you can’t wait for the eleventh hour.

Report the issue (if the purchase of goods was from an online marketplace)

Immediately file the complaint for the scam if you bought the goods from well-known online market places such as Amazon and eBay. They will usually assist you investigate and reimburse you either by getting your money back or by following up with the seller to provide you the purchased item.

Get the money back

Quite a lot of e-shoppers don’t bother getting the money back when they’ve been scammed. Although it must be said that it is quite difficult to retrieve money lost when you get scammed on the web. There is a small chance that you can get it back. For the sake of clarity, if you purchased an item from an online retailer using PayPal, and you’re yet to receive the shipment, PayPal Buyers Protection has got you covered. Still, the system has its restrictions, for example if the person behind the scam copied your account details by setting up a PayPal clone, there is not much you can do.

Another important detail you mustn’t forget is the advantage of purchasing through a credit card. Like we said before, in most countries usually both the bank and card operator have a particular regulation to protect their clients from theft. Yet, if the fraudulent purchase was made through your bank, cash would be immediately deducted from your bank account as soon as the booking passes through and reimbursement can be time consuming. Credit cards offer protective security step in between the order and the cash being deducted; most credit card companies offer protection in such circumstances.

Filing a complaint with the police

Besides all of what we’ve mentioned above, you can always report scams to the local police. There are various reasons for this:

The chances that your money finds its way back to you are drastically increased by getting law enforcement agencies involved. Filing a case with the appropriate authorities would only enhance the search process for the thief, this will directly impact the chances of you getting your cash returned.

It is quite likely that your credit card operator or the bank would demand a single copy of the complaint filed with the police. Sometimes, the card operator or the bank would need the copy of the registered complaint.

A final word

It’s a wonderful experience  to sit on a cozy couch and order things from e-stores all over the world, but this can lead to potential issues as you can easily be a prey for scammers over the Internet.

You can prevent yourself from getting conned by following basic procedures mentioned above, looking for assurance or proof of a a secured transmission; and trying to verify information on the seller by looking at reviews prior to your purchase made by other buyers. However, you should know and as we cited throughout this article, that not one of these actions can completely prevent fraud.

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