Updated: Nov 17, 2021
We’ve all been there. We see an ad online and it looks like a good deal so we get suckered into buying something and it either never arrives, or if it does, it’s a cheap knockoff that looks nothing like what you ordered. You’ve just got scammed, my friend.
The truth is online scams are on the rise and it just keeps getting worse every year. In fact,
there were 10,450 online purchase scams reported to the Better Business Bureau in 2018 - and that was an increase of 124% over the year before!
Online purchase scams are both the most common scam and the most likely to get people, so how can you be a savvy shopper and not get scammed?
Do Your Research
Most people automatically assume that if an ad is found on a popular platform like Facebook or Instagram that it’s legit. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Make sure you do your due diligence and Google the company. Don’t rush to buy anything. Scammers rely on you to make rash decisions and not do your homework first.
Know The Most Common Products
Did you know that clothing and jewelry are common items found on scam websites, but the most common involves pets - like puppies, kittens, and birds? The Better Business Bureau reports that 80% of online ads for pets are fraudulent. Take a look at the list below for other popular goods.
Look For Red Flags
Like most things in life, you have to trust your instincts and look for red flags. Does the website look professional? Look at the language and grammar. Is there a customer service number or contact information? Did they provide a street address and is it an actual location? All these can be red flags and might be clues that it’s a scam.
If you do come across an online scam, make sure to report it. Leave a comment to warn potential victims if you see it advertised on a social platform. If you want more tips from the Better Business Bureau, you can find them here.