The ge­nius tips that keep you safe from cy­ber scams!

Woman's World - - Start your week with a smile! -

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!

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