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From Click to Cart: Expert Tips for a Safe Online Shopping Experience

Found an exciting new online shop with great prices? Here are some crucial tips to ensure your shopping experience stays safe.

Gil Gomes

March 15, 2024 . 3 minutes read

The convenience of online shopping: In recent years, more and more people have jumped on the digital-shopping bandwagon, but here's the catch: along with the convenience and endless choices come some not-so-fun risks – we're talking about online shopping scams.

With the growing number of online shops and shoppers, scammers also keep refining their skills and finding new and craftier ways to trick unsuspecting buyers. Below are some red flags and some suggestions to keep in mind for future online purchases:

Avoid falling for enticing social-media ads

Just because a Facebook ad features good comments – it doesn't guarantee that the site's trustworthy. Scammers often impersonate others on social media to create fake product ads. You should research online before placing an order, especially if it's your first time buying from a particular shop.

Stick with reputable shopping sites

Established shopping sites with solid reputations are typically safer options. They boast a large user base and positive reviews. Be extra cautious if you're unsure about a new or unfamiliar online shop. Since it’s so easy to create new web shops, including fraudulent ones (easily made in a few hours with the help of AI), it's crucial to watch for warning signs, such as missing company details, absence from official governmental registries or recently created domains.

Verify reviews carefully

Fake reviews are becoming more prevalent, making it essential to scrutinize them carefully. Look out for suspicious usernames or serial patterns in reviews. Additionally, consult reputable review platforms like Trustpilot for genuine feedback from other buyers.

Beware of unrealistically low prices

If an online shop’s prices seem too good to be true, they probably are. Legitimate shops typically offer competitive prices, whereas fake ones may lure customers with significantly lower prices. Exercise caution if you see unusually low prices and watch for other signs of potential scams.

Consider using virtual payment cards

Virtual credit/debit cards, which provide disposable information, are increasingly popular and recommended for online shopping, especially on lesser-known websites. They offer an added layer of security by preventing fraudsters from using card details for subsequent fraudulent transactions.

Mind URL spellings

Keep an eye on the website's URL to ensure you're on the correct page. Watch out for URL misspellings and typo­squatting, which involve intentionally misspelling links or URLs to redirect users to fraudulent sites.

It's not just about fake websites – there are fraudulent apps too

With the proliferation of shopping apps, ensure you only download apps from official shops like Play Store, App Store or Huawei Gallery. Avoid downloading apps from dubious sources to minimize the risk of falling victim to scams.

Look for a trusted cyber-protection app

Protect yourself online by using a trusted Internet-security product like Sunrise Protect, equipped with features such as ID protection and browsing protection. These tools monitor passwords, alert you to breaches and automatically block access to potentially harmful sites.

Now that you’re better equipped for your next online purchases – remember to stay vigilant. Gone are the days of relying solely on spotting bad grammar or missing security icons. Today's criminals are getting much better at creating convincing fake shops and leveraging a range of marketing tactics to promote them. Remain alert and maintain a healthy level of suspicion from the moment you see an ad right the way to the final transaction.

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