The genius tips that keep you safe from cyber scams!
Sure, Amazon and ebay make it convenient to shop online, yet they’re also full of independent merchants (called “third-party sellers”)—some of whom want to scam you out of your cash. Fortunately, spotting them is easy! ● 1 Suss out bogus profiles!
The easy way to make sure a seller is legit: Check out their profi le page to see reviews from other buyers (such as whether items were shipped or broken) and how long the person has been in business. If you don’t see any reviews and the merchant has recently set up shop, skip this seller—it’s not worth the risk! Why? Scammers never have long selling histories because they usually get caught after the first few bogus purchases and bumped off the website only to sign up again under a new name.
● 2 Zero in on fake reviews!
One way unscrupulous sellers try to trick you into buying their products is to create fake positive reviews about them. A few telltale signs that a product’s reviews are phony: They lack details about the item, the writer hasn’t reviewed other products, the reviews use similar phrases and most of the reviews are posted on or about the same date. Another way to check: Plug the address for any Amazon web page into the search engine at Fakespot.com. The free site uses an algorithm to detect bogus reviews.
● 3 Outsmart shipping fee surprises!
Love the low price you found for an item sold by a third-party seller? Before you click “buy,” check the shipping fees while reviewing your purchase. Sellers who are out to scam customers often lure you in with a too-good-to-be-true price tag, then tack on inflated shipping costs.
● 4 Skip alternative payments!
If you’re asked to pay any other way than how you typically pay on Amazon or ebay, don’t do business with this seller. Unsuspecting shoppers have had their cash stolen by phony merchants who’ve asked them to pay using gift cards, by clicking a link in an email and with other ruses designed to get you to hand over your money in a way that makes it untraceable — and unrecoverable!