Online Shopping Scams–How to Avoid Them and And What to Do

Online Shopping Scams–How to Avoid Them and And What to Do

More consumers are shopping online. During the COVID-19 crisis, eCommerce, which had been rising up to that point, jumped to a 129% increase for sales in North America in early April 2020. This is terrific news for trustworthy merchants–and online scam artists. If you are one of the many people who have been cheated online, Scam Survivor can help you retrieve your funds. 

Online shopping scams have become increasingly sophisticated through the years, and it takes caution and familiarity with their tricks to spot fraudsters. It is relatively easy to set up an online store, market products, and sell wares. Scammers may use the same marketing tactics as legitimate merchants and their products look genuine. Only when customers part with the money do many realize they have been cheated.

Methods Used by Online Shopping Scam Artists

It may seem unlikely that an unscrupulous merchant can get away with ripping people off. One would think that they could simply be reported to the Better Business Bureau or another consumer protection agency. Unfortunately, people often make impulse purchases online without investigating the merchant. 

These merchants attract people with a huge discount on a popular item or exaggerated claims about a product. People may notice that the claims are excessive, but mistakenly think that if they are even half-true, the item would represent a significant value. The truth about scam artists is that if claims or guarantees are too good to be true, they are likely to be completely false. Seasoned scam artists don’t bother with mere exaggerations or half-truths. 

Once they have hooked potential customers, they will immediately ask for payment. Scammers are usually characterized by requesting payment aggressively and in an unusual manner. They may avoid asking for credit cards or Paypal which have means in place such as chargebacks to deal with online shopping scams. 

Instead, the scammer may ask to be paid in bitcoin, through a direct bank wire transfer a money order or a pre-loaded bank card. These methods are not as consumer-friendly as credit cards and Paypal because it is hard to get your money back, although experts can help you get a bank wire refund with some effort. The scammer may also ask to be paid in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.

You may receive your order in terrible condition or you may not get it at all. When you try to complain to the merchant, the complaint may either fall on deaf ears, the merchant will block you, or seem to disappear.

Signs of an Online Shopping Scam Artist

The following are common signs of a fraudulent merchant: 

  • Extravagant claims, discounts, and guarantees
  • Demands  an unconventional payment method
  • Limited information about delivery
  • No terms or conditions
  • Little or no communication with the customer after the transaction

The prevalence of online shopping scams is one reason many people prefer to stick with large eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and Shopify. With these platforms, there is some accountability and resolution for customer disputes. However, even with these services, you may or may not get a refund.

How to Get Your Money Back from an Online Shopping Scam

Many merchants steal or rip off customers. When this happens, too many people accept it as just another annoyance or a painful learning experience. However, just walking away not only deprives you of your money but lets the online shopping scam artist do the same thing to other people. 

Do something fast, because merchants have different identities and can hide behind new masks quickly. Scam Survivor experts will consult with you, assess the situation, and use their experience, connections, and data tools to track down the scam artist and locate your money. 

Consult with Scam Survivor professionals today to get your money back from an online shopping scam.

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