Avoiding online shopping scams


(NEWS10) – Shopping from has made consumer life so much easier, products are now just a click away and we can avoid fighting crowds and lines at retail locations. For your online safety, you should be cautious about what sites you visit. There are thousands of websites out there that provide false information and might redirect you to malicious links, giving hackers access to your most valuable data.

You may spot that perfect deal that looks “too good to be true” prompting you to say yes but be careful because that great deal is probably not what it seems.

Here are some things to look out for when you’re shopping online:

  • Too steep discounts: Make sure to compare prices before you click purchase. See if any other retailers are offering such a steep discount, most of the time legitimate business will try to compete with each other.
  • Poor website design or incorrect grammar/spelling: Companies strive to have an eye-catching, highly functional website. If the pictures are poor quality and the website design seems “clunky” it is a huge red flag for consumers. Also, make sure you read the fine print, if anything is worded poorly or there is a misspelling, then it is probably fake since most of these websites are designed in countries where English isn’t the primary language.
  • Check the domain name: Most retail websites have a simple URL, like news10.com, if the company has a trademark on its name that name typically matches the website. Look for additional words in the URL like “deals,” “sales” or “super discounts.” You can also type an address into Google’s Transparency Report to see the site’s safety rating from Google.
  • You can’t pay with a credit or debit card: Watch out for any site asking you to purchase goods using a money order, bitcoin, cash, wire transfer or a prepaid gift card. Reputable sites will almost always allow you to use a credit or debit card or a secure payment method like PayPal. Also, be cautious if they ask for very personal information like your Social Security Number when purchasing.
  • Check the contact info: If the information to contact the company looks “off,” like a yahoo email address or an international number for a company based in the U.S., it may be an illegitimate site.
  • Poor reviews: Read reviews for the website online, people may have posted information that the site is a scam, many scam sites will have poor reviews.

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