Since most people are staying at home as much as possible nowadays, online shopping has boomed worldwide.
On Trade and Development or UNCTAD, the ongoing pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital-reliant world, and people have been turning more to the internet not only for the latest news and for entertainment, but for purchasing what they need and want.
That is why it is important to ensure that the online store you’re shopping at is legitimate in order to avoid frauds and scammers.
So how exactly do you do that? Here are some tips for you to make sure the store you’re shopping at is legitimate:
1. Check if the Website Is Secure.
Before you start browsing an online store. Is the URL using HTTP or HTTPS?
In most cases, having an HTTPS URL means the data you share on the website (i.e your name, financial information, etc.) will be encrypted and safe from possible malicious parties.
In addition to this, check if the name of the company is in the website name. You can also check their official social media pages of the website you’re checking out and the one usually on their bio matches.
2. Verify if the Contact Details Are Legitimate.
Most online stores share their contact information including location, e-mail address, and contact number.
You can cross-check these pieces of information with the ones indicated on their social media pages. You can also do a quick search on Google to check if they’re legit.
3. Don’t Give in to Deals That Seem Too Good to Be True.
If the price is ridiculously cheap or promises miraculous results, then it might just be a scam. Compare the SRP of the item you’re eyeing vis-a-vis the website you’re browsing.
If the price difference is too wide especially if it’s a newly launched product, it might be fake.
4. Avoid Shopping Directly on Social Media.
Unless you’re shopping at the product manufacturer’s official social media page, try not to buy from social media. You might end up with a fake product or purchasing from bogus sellers.
This applies to messaging platforms as well. Try not to buy items from random Skype or WhatsApp accounts.
5. If You’re Being Pressured to Buy Immediately, Just Hit ‘exit.’
Legitimate stores don’t pressure their customers to buy items from them unless there’s a special flash sale. They will give you time to make a decision. Scammers will pressure you to buy from them with haste.
While it’s safer to turn to online shopping nowadays, there are a lot of people with malicious intent on the internet. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant, especially with your personal information.
Plus, if you have a bad feeling about a store, just trust your gut. Don’t buy from sketchy-looking stores. However, if you were scammed or if you suspect something is a scam, it is best to report it to the Federal Trade Commission.