Avoid Getting Scammed

Edited by aianne b., Charmed, Eng, Maria and 4 others


With the help of technology, you can buy almost anything, anywhere, and at any time of the day. You can use the internet or the phone to purchase products that you want and have it delivered right to your doorstep. While it is very convenient for you as the buyer, there are a lot of people who are waiting to take advantage of you by scamming you at various parts of the process. Once you make your payment, no item will be delivered. A lot of times, the only thing you can do is think about how your hard earned money went to waste. Many of us have been scammed before and the sad part is, there is almost no way you can track the bogus seller. There are some instances though when buyers receive their items, but it is not what they really paid for. For example, paying a fortune for authentic luxury brands and getting a knock off brand in return.

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There are many scams that people use to try and take advantage of buyers, which you will get to learn as you read more.


Things to Remember to Avoid Scams

  1. 1
    Before buying any item from any merchant, perform a background check.
    One of the ways to do it is by checking what other people say or think about a seller. Join forum communities and ask members about legitimacy. Some of them may have tried buying items from retailers who have scammed them. Read some of their testimonials and this should help you decide whether you will push through with the purchase or not.
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  2. 2
    Avoid offers that are too good to be true.
    More often than not, items which are sold at low prices are either defective or counterfeits. There are legitimate sellers that put their items on sale, but if the selling price offered is even lower than reputable sellers, something is usually wrong.
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  3. 3
    Shop only with known online sellers.
    Check the history of the shop. How long has it been running? If you bumped into a very interesting new shop which started only few months ago, be careful. You don't need to completely forget about it. However, you may want to be careful and do some research before making a purchase.
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  4. 4
    Have meet ups whenever possible.
    When you do, be sure to do it in a public place to avoid any possibilities of deceit, fraud or even crime.
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  5. 5
    If you really prefer to buy online, you may want to opt for cash on delivery.
    This way, you won't have to put in some of your personal information in a website like your credit card details.
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Common Types of Scams on the Web

  1. 1
    Bogus or Fake Sellers.
    You will encounter a lot of illegitimate sellers offering fake products for an original price. There are also sellers who never ship your paid items.
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  2. 2
    Money Transfer Fraud.
    You will be receiving an email stating that a certain sum of money will be transferred into your account under your name. You then need to provide personal information before the transfer takes place. Or, the email sender has a check he can't cash. He or she then offers you to give him an advanced pay for his check and you can keep the rest for yourself. Say, he gets a 500$ check, send him 100$ and the remaining 400$ is yours. This is another offer which is too good to be true. However, there are still a few people who fall for this scam.
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  3. 3
    Email phishing.
    This is a practice where critical information are being acquired by someone through email. The information that phishers try to acquire are passwords and credit card details. Sometimes, people do not see it as a scam since phishers make use of sites or services which you actually use. You will be sent a link which asks for information and from there, your information will be copied and stolen.
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  4. 4
    Ponzi and Pyramid Scheme.
    This is an investment scheme where one is asked to pay a certain amount of money to be enrolled in the business. More often than not, there are no items, products or services involved. When more people have invested in the business, the scammers are already nowhere to be found.
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  5. 5
    Miscellaneous Frauds.
    Okay, you are tired of workplace politics so you decided to work from home. Luckily, you found a lot of work-from-home ads. The problem is, they are asking you for a fee to start working for them. You need to buy software to get you started with the company. Question: would you pay for it? The answer is NO. Legitimate companies offering jobs from home do not have what scammers call a joining fee.
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Scams could be both online and offline. Anyone can fall as a victim. If the offer is so good to be true; then have that as a red flag. You are only few steps away from a scam.

Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Beware of merchants that offers low prices
  • Always research the merchants' background.
  • Meet up with the seller as much as possible when buying an item.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Online Business & Transactions

Recent edits by: Rebecca M., Robbi, Maria Sharon Ubando

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