What to look out for when shopping online to avoid being scammed

Be careful when shopping online. Picture: Pexels/Leeloo Thefirst

Be careful when shopping online. Picture: Pexels/Leeloo Thefirst

Published May 5, 2023


Online shopping has made it possible for us to now buy just about anything from anywhere in the world.

Find something you like, add it to your basket, add your delivery address, make a payment and with just those few clicks your product is on its way. It’s as easy as that.

Unfortunately, danger lurks when it comes to making online purchases.

It’s not like walking into a store where you can actually see the product, pay for it and take it home with you immediately.

Unless it’s a reputable online shopping service, one has to proceed with caution before making any payments.

There are so many scammers out there who make it so easy for shoppers to fall into their traps.

There are several things you can look out for to avoid falling victim to online scams.

Research the website

Check the website's URL and see if it is a legitimate online store. Look for customer reviews on third-party websites and see if they have positive feedback.

Look for signs of secure connections

Check if there is a padlock icon in the address bar and if the URL starts with "https" instead of "http." This indicates that the site has a security certificate and your information is encrypted.

Always check the URL. Picture: Pixabay/Mark Hultgren

Avoid clicking on links

Scammers often use phishing emails with links that lead to fake websites. Be wary of clicking on links in emails, and instead type in the website’s URL manually.

Be wary of clicking on links in emails. Picture: Pexels/Vojtech Okenka

Use secure payment methods

Always use secure payment methods like PayPal or credit cards. These methods have buyer protection policies in place.

Do not give out credit card details. Picture: Pexels/Anna Shvets

Protect your personal information

Do not give out personal information such as your ID number, address, or credit card details unless you’ve already established that it’s a trustworthy website.

Beware of deals that seem too good to be true

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers love to lure people in with incredible deals and then simply take their money.

Use anti-virus software

Use anti-virus software to protect yourself against malware that can steal your personal information.