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Online Shopping Scams

Whether you’re shopping online to buy a used car, jewelry, or even clothing, it’s important to guard against online shopping scams. According to the FTC, online shopping scams were the second most common fraud category reported by consumers in 2021.

Online scammers are smart. Be prepared to identify potential scams with the following online shopping safety tips.

10 Tips to Identify and Help Protect Yourself From Online Shopping Scams

  1. Only shop on secure websites with good reputations
  2. Do not shop using public wi-fi connections
  3. Be suspicious of deals that are too good to be true
  4. Avoid sellers who use pressure tactics to get you to buy
  5. Be wary of social media ads that may take you to an unfamiliar shopping site
  6. Use a credit card to purchase instead of debit cards, prepaid cards, or wire transfers
  7. Set up bank account alerts and notifications to monitor your accounts
  8. Never give out sensitive information such as your account or social security number
  9. Search for the seller and the word “scam” to vet them before sending money
  10. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and walk away

Shopping online is convenient, fast, and easy. However, it’s important to know how to shop safely so you don’t fall victim to online shopping scams. By putting these tips into practice, you can feel more confident that you will recognize the signs of a scam.

Remember, it’s better to be cautious and risk losing a deal rather than lose your money. If you’ve already sent money, report the scam right away to your bank and the Federal Trade Commission.

Learn how to recognize common scams and cyber threats.