What To Look For To Avoid Scams When Looking For Gadgets
The Internet has simplified the shopping industry. You can visit a store online, add something to your shopping cart, pay, and get it delivered to your door.
However, this remarkable simplicity also brings in many extra challenges and a vast world for scammers.
Here are a few simple tips and tricks to ensure you get what you pay for without losing your card details or money.
1. Shop From A Reliable Company
You could find something on the Apple official website or Samsung’s store to be a bit pricey. Perhaps you have seen an ad from CheapOnlineGadgets4UToday on Instagram or another similar name.
That is just a generic name trying to get notoriety based on people’s search keywords. Chances are you will get scammed if you order from this website rather than from a reputable website. See how you can determine if a website is fake at the end of this article.
Go for big brands and prominent retail names. If you think you also pay for their reliability, you are wrong. But you would rather pay more for safety than risk your details for an offer that is too good to be true. You should also be on the lookout for Amazon scams.
2. Too Good To Be True?
If a top brand sells a smartwatch or some headphones for a specific price, you are less likely to find the same thing severely discounted somewhere else. Other websites are acting as resellers.
There are, indeed, some partnerships in place here and there. Some websites may also provide small discounts in order to grab clientele, but this is it.
You are likely to get scammed if you can find some headphones for $250 on the official website and only $125 on a random website that has yet to hear of. Scammers will also try and target premium products because this makes it easier for them to get people interested.
On the bright side, some rules for buying used products will make it easier to avoid scams. For example, you should always check the year and model when purchasing a used Apple MacBook to ensure that the device is still relevant.
3. Small Signs
Scammers are less likely to be professional, and they usually prey on the least experienced or most vulnerable. A reputable brand will have a top-notch website with flawless grammar and punctuation.
If you can find a website or an ad with poor grammar or misspelled words, you are probably dealing with an amateur or scam website.
Also, check the return and replacement policy of the website before placing orders. If the website doesn’t accept returns, it won’t be wise to place an order.
4. Look For Dodgy Ads
You may get ads and convincing messages by email as well. Black Friday, Christmas, or random offers kick in all the time.
Over the past decades, scammers have evolved a little. These messages look incredibly authentic and genuine, like those from your friends, family or colleagues.
Ask yourself… Was I expecting this email? Is this message unsolicited? Even if it includes your first name in the subject, it does not mean it is authentic.
Many companies sell data these days so that anyone can buy some of your details. Even if it looks attractive when you open the email, double-check who it came from.
Avoid anything that may seem unofficial, even if there is a company name in the existing domain. For example, it is one thing to get an offer from an email associated with apple.com and another from an email associated with apple-official.com. The second one would be a scam.
5. Keep An Eye On Security Protocols
You do not have to be an IT expert to determine security protocols online shopping. At the same time, a suitable security protocol does not necessarily mean that you are dealing with a reputable website, but it helps.
For example, check out the address in the browser. Click on it, as some browsers hide the first part. Sharing your data with websites starting with HTTPS is more secure than doing it with HTTP websites.
Again, this is only a security standard to pay attention to in terms of encryption. Getting the HTTPS standard is fairly simple and scammers often use it too.
6. Check The Contacts
Go through the contact page. A reputable company will include a phone number and an address. It pays off double check these contacts in official records. You could call and ask a few questions about one product or another, just for your peace of mind.
If something feels dodgy, forget about it.
Even if all signs indicate a reliable company, look for reviews. You want dozens, if not hundreds, of thoughts. Go through them and try to identify the fake ones, such as short reviews with just a couple of words or reviews from people with a single review only.
The bottom line is that people often get scammed to find bargains. Stick to reputable names, brands, and official websites only, and you should be alright, even if the grass seems greener on the other side. Many times, such offers are too good to be true.
How To Determine If A Site Is Fake Or Not
If you feel a website trying to sell attractive gadgets might be suspicious, feel free to verify it using our unique Scam Detector website validator below:
How To Report an eCommerce Scammer
Let your family and friends know about these red flags when buying online by sharing this article on social media. At the same time, you can officially report scammers and any other suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – we promise not to spam.
Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other e-Commerce fraud-related articles right under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, please use the comments section below to expose other scammers.
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