Believe it or not but Cyber Monday has surpassed Black Friday as the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States. As a result, online shopping scams and legal disputes have greatly increased so it is vitally important to do your homework and protect your holiday shopping budget from scammers.
Below are a few tips on how to stay away from Cyber Monday Scams and keep yourself safe while shopping online this holiday season
Beware of Pricing That is Too Good To Be True
Before you press the “Buy Now” link make sure to check reviews on discounted items that have prices that are too good to be true to make sure they do not have major problems. A $200 TV might not seem like such a good deal if it doesn’t last more than 6-months.
Online scammers often set up dummy websites, auction listings or ads that offer popular items far below market value. These scammers will kick into high gear for Cyber Monday, so trust your instincts and beware of scam sales.
Read and Save a Dated Copy of the Retailer’s Return Policy.
Save yourself the headache of a major sales dispute that stems from a misunderstanding over a return or refund policies. Make sure you read and understand the return policies before making a purchase.
Some retailers will charge you a restocking fees on a return and some sale items may not even be eligible for return. Also, check to see if you are responsible for the shipping costs associated with a returned item because large items could be too costly to ship back.
Check Your Bank Account Frequently.
Incorrect or fraudulent charges can be easier to miss when spending increases around the holidays especially if you share a credit card with your spouse or significant other. Save all your receipts and review them along with your bank and credit card statements to make sure everything is accurate. Contact your bank or credit card company immediately if you notice any irregularities or false charges.
Use Trusted Retailers
It is important to make sure you are on the correct website by checking the domain name in the browser. Sometimes emails or online ads promising great deals will direct you to scam sites designed to look like a trusted retailer.
The domain name at the top of your browser should contain https:// to denote a secure site. If you can, use unique and secure passwords when setting up online accounts and create a separate gmail account so you can keep track of all updates and correspondence.
Review Seller’s Rating Information & Feedback From Previous Buyers
Marketplace websites such as Walmart and Amazon allow a wide range of individual sellers to offer products to a large audience. Many of these sites allow previous customers to rate their experience with a particular seller.
Pay close attention and exercise caution when dealing with sellers who have a lot of bad ratings and poor feedback. Read the feedback to see what those who complained had to say and if you’ve had previous dealings with the vendor make sure to leave a review so others can read about your experience.
Keep Payment Information Secure
Never pay for items purchased online with wire transfers, Money Orders or cash. You cannot track nor is there any protection in the event of a scam. When making an online payment for goods use a credit card, PayPal, Google Checkout or another secure online payment system.
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