The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales mark the beginning of the Christmas retail period. During this time, we see an increase in online shopping scams – here are seven tips that may help you remain vigilant online
7 tips to watch out for while online shopping
Here are some ways you can protect yourself and your dollars from scams when shopping online at any time of the year.
1. Be cautious with tempting offers
Scams may offer rare or highly sought-after items, such as concert tickets, often creating a sense of urgency to purchase. Be sure to pause and assess offers, especially if they seem too good to be true!
2. Beware of new online stores
Be careful when shopping on new online stores selling products at unusually low prices. Play detective and investigate the website's registration date using the ICANN Lookup search - if it was recently registered, it could be a scam. To double-check, use a search engine and type the “website name” plus the word “scam” and carefully review the results.
3. Don’t click on unexpected or unusual links
Never click links in emails, text messages, or pop-up messages on social media - they might lead you to a fake website! Search for the official website yourself in your browser.
4. Pay attention to URL spelling
Look for weird spelling in search results and website URLs, including dashes, typos, or symbols in the company name of an online store.
5. Check website information
6. Use PayID and beware of unusual payment methods
Where possible, use PayID or BPAY, and make sure the name matches the person or company you’re paying. If it doesn’t match – don’t pay! Don’t consider payments requested in gift cards, unless it matches the company (e.g. gift cards for corresponding retailers).
7. Inspect items in person
Whenever possible, view items - including pets - in person before making a purchase! Online marketplace scammers are very devious - they may misrepresent items or provide excuses and strange reasons about why they can’t show you an item.
Remember, something looks suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is!