Avoiding Internet Sales Fraud
Internet online shopping is a boon as well as a bane for sellers and buyers. The advantages and the risks associated with online shopping are real. So, how do you protect yourself from internet sales fraud?
Take all precautions before you do online shopping. Get to know your seller’s firm if it is not familiar. Cross check the genuineness of the vendor through consumer protection bodies such as Better Business Bureau. Popular websites like eBay, Amazon and give you information on how customers rate the vendors. Nil complaint on a particular seller does not guarantee the seller’s authenticity. Before shopping online, it is good to know the seller’s address, phone numbers so that you may contact the vendor if a problem arises.
Figure the terms and conditions of the sale. Look out for the transparency in the website of the sellers on all aspects of the deal and make sure there are no hidden costs involved. Do not be carried away by the offer of very low prices. There may be something big to pay like shipping and handling costs which are not revealed upfront.
How the complaints are addressed by the seller. Make sure the seller adheres to specific standards of reliability and has enrolled in agencies such as VeriSign so that your interests are protected at the time of buying. Performance of the seller in the past in addressing the complaints of the customers is a good measure to judge the seller, especially overseas sellers.
It is better you use the credit cards during the transactions in online shopping as it offers protection to the money and the product you buy. But do not disclose your credit card information or personal information or social security number while transacting.
Do not entertain unsolicited emails. It is a gateway to others to collect information about you. Even in situations when you are asked information by a known company, speak to them and verify the authenticity.