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Is shopping online safe? How to avoid scams…

Let me start with my personal story related to online shopping where I was barely saved from scam.

I saw a very nice online store which was selling PlayStation5 on huge discount and the price was less than 100 USD. Such low price should already be an alarm for a scam. I was a bit skeptical about this purchase but as they were offering cash on delivery (COD) so I placed the order and started waiting for it to be delivered.

On one casual day, my door bell rang and when I went outside it was the courier. I was excited to pay and receive my order and I didn’t have any other order pending delivery so I knew that it can only be the order related to PS5. The courier handed over the box to me and asked for the cash.

Source: Vecteezy.com

Something about the package surprised me and that was the size of parcel… Yes it was too small to have a PS5 with controllers as advertised.

I refused to accept the parcel and apologized to the courier mentioning the reason.

The one major reason that people get scammed is the GREED. We should always keep in our mind that if the product we are buying online is already in high demand then it can not be at a throw away price.

Tip for online shopping and basics to avoid scams

Shop with trusted sites:

Make sure the website is legit, a quick google search sometimes help in getting reviews of a website on different blogs. There are some websites which provide you scoring for such online stores based on how long they have been online, what people think about the store and some other criteria.

If it’s a renowned website and kind of a market place even then don’t rush and always check reviews for the sellers and read description of the product.

Avoid saving Debit / Credit Card information:

Sometimes the webstores are legit but they don’t have secure enough system so try to avoid saving your credit / debit card information on such websites. It takes less than a minute to enter this information each time you shop.

Keep limited funds in the account you use for online shopping:

Sometimes the webstores are legit but they don’t have secure enough system so try to avoid saving your credit / debit card information on such websites. It takes less than a minute to enter this information each time you shop.

Keep your cards disabled for online shopping:

Many banks provide easy locking / unlocking of cards for online shopping through banking app so its always good idea to keep your online shopping cards locked or have additional 2 factor verification.

Shopping through market places from individuals:

Some times the prices are very attractive when you are shopping on a market place through individuals, please keep in mind please tips:

  • All market places warn you to never pay upfront online to individuals.
  • Always visit and check product personally or through friend nearby that place before paying. It always a good idea to pick the product personally so that you are not disappointed at the end.

One other important point to remember is that if you instinct is saying it’s a scam then believe yourself, it’s better to avoid such purchases.

There are many other points you may consider before purchasing any product online:

  • Check your payment is secure.
  • Limit your public Wi-Fi activities especially payment related activity.
  • Beware the phish.
  • Protect your privacy on social media.
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