The Internet is a fantastic place to go shopping. You can buy virtually anything and have it delivered right to your door within a few days. Unfortunately, some of the offers online are run by con artists who want nothing more than to get your credit card number. Knowing how to tell Internet credit card scams apart from legitimate businesses is a big part of keeping safe while surfing the web.
So here are some tips to avoid getting conned by Internet credit card scams:
Shop at Safe Sites: Whenever possible, do your shopping on long-established sites with good reputations. Amazon.com is a splendid example of an online business with an excellent reputation. Ebay is almost always safe, but make sure you check the ratings of any of their dealers with whom you do business. Make sure they have been selling for at least several months and have a record of positive reviews from previous customers. And avoid Ebay merchants that want you to mail them a check or money order instead of using PayPal.
Do a Little Research: Check with the website www.bbb.org, the national page of the Better Business Bureau, before buying from a site you’re unfamiliar with. You can enter the company’s web address into their screen and receive a free report containing whatever information the BBB has on it. Avoid companies that have less than a B+ rating.
Don’t Automatically Trust Their Site: If a company has the Better Business Bureau’s logo displayed on their site, that doesn’t mean they’re members. It’s easy for fraudsters to cut and paste the design on their web page. So still follow the steps above, no matter what the merchant’s site says.
Use Credit Cards Over Debit Cards: When possible, use a credit card rather than a debit card for online business. That way you can dispute the charges if the merchant turns out to be fraudulent.
Fake Websites Are Easy To Create: Don’t judge a company by its website. Some very shady businesses have beautiful sites. Don’t trust any claims they make without verifying them first.
Search for Customer Reviews: Do a search for the company to see if there are any reviews from past customers. For example, if the business’ address is www.superterrificwonderfulsandals.com, then type that into the Google bar, followed by the word “reviews.” If a lot of other people have had bad experiences with that firm, then don’t use it.
Investments Too Good To Be True: Never, ever respond to emails offering to let you in on a special investment opportunity, especially if the source is one you’re unfamiliar with. Send such emails directly to your trash folder. Do the same with unsolicited vacation specials, medical treatments, and dating services that you’ve never heard of.
Bad English Can Mean Bad News: If you get a message that’s written in broken English or has misspelled words, it probably came from con artists overseas. Delete it.
By following these simple rules you can help to safeguard your personal information, stay away from Internet credit card scams and ensure that your online shopping experiences always go smoothly. Thanks, and stay safe on the Internet.