Six Red Flags to Look for When Shopping Online

You may be putting yourself at risk when you shop online if you don’t know what red flags to watch out for. Here are some things to tip you off that the site you’re shopping on may not be trustworthy, curated by experts from online pokies australia for real money players.

  1. Prices Are Surprisingly Low

Everyone likes getting a good deal, but a low price might indicate more risk than reward—especially when it’s a deep discount for popular brands and in-demand products. Scammers set up fake online stores and “sell” items through a reputable marketplace website. In either case, you could wind up paying for a counterfeit product or get absolutely nothing in return. You might even receive fake shipping information or a warning that there will be shipping delays, giving the scammer more time to disappear before you suspect something is amiss.

  1. You Spot Spelling Errors in the URL

It’s easy to set up an e-commerce website, and scammers who do so may then pay to advertise their fake online stores. These websites could use a real company’s logo, product images and descriptions. However, if you look closely, you might notice some minor spelling errors in the URL.

For example, the website might be—notice there’s no period after the www. Or, perhaps it’s (an extra “a”) or the site ends in. bargain or. shop instead of .com. Also, look out for sites that start with HTTP rather than HTTPS, which denotes a site is secure and authenticated.

  1. It’s a New Website Without Much Information

Looking beyond the URL, there are several steps you can take to try to identify fake online shopping websites. For instance, look for pages on the website with additional information about the company and its policies. If you don’t find an “about” page, return policy or contact information, that could be a red flag.

You could also take a more technical (but easy) approach by looking up when the website domain was registered. You can search for “domain age checker” to find free tools. A recently registered domain could be a sign that scammers created the site; some will only keep a site up for a few weeks or months before shutting it down and starting another.

  1. You’re Asked to Use Unusual Types of Payment

Another red flag is when you’re asked to pay with specific payment options, such as:

Gift cards
Money orders
Wire transfers
Bank transfers
P2P payment apps, like Cash App or Zelle

It’s often difficult, and may be impossible, to get your money back if you send a payment with one of these options. Most legitimate services will accept a credit card or debit card. In general, using a credit card could be safer because it’s not directly tied to your bank account, and credit cards may have better fraud protection guarantees. But this isn’t the case with as it is completely legitimate and licensed.

  1. The Site Pressures You to Act Fast

Artificial time constraints can push people to quickly act without thinking through a situation. Even if it’s a marketing gimmick rather than an outright scam, being aware of the psychological tricks at play can help you make a more informed decision. Some examples include countdown timers for when a sale will end or your cart will expire. There may also be popups telling you that other people are buying products, and warnings that there’s limited stock left.

  1. The Site Requests Unnecessary Information

Companies need to collect a minimal amount of payment and contact information to process and fulfill your order. However, you shouldn’t need to share additional personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account details, to place an order. Some sites may ask for your date of birth so they can send you marketing material, but it shouldn’t be a requirement for most purchases. Additionally, be wary of any site that requests you download a computer or mobile app as part of the ordering process.

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