With COVID-19 causing many to shop online instead of in person, many scamming websites have appeared selling fake products. The Better Business Bureau created a list of tips for shopping online safely.
Make sure you know who you are dealing with. Check the spelling and the domain names, then google the website to see if the site has had any complaints against it.
Scam websites usually have poor grammar and spelling, very little information, and capital letters in the middle of sentences.
Make sure the website is using https:// at the beginning. A trusted website will have a secure domain so that your information is safe. Make sure to check the address bar for a “not secure” message as that is another red flag.
If at all possible try to find the age of the website to see if it was recently established. Many malicious actors establish new websites in response to current events.
Check the website's ‘about me’ and ‘contact us’ links, as many malicious actors will not take the time to fabricate a history for the brand such as you would see on a legitimate website.
If you receive a phishing email from a malicious actor, the Better Business Bureau says that they are usually without personalization. They say legitimate companies will usually refer to the customer by name, while malicious actors might not.
Research the business first to make sure it is legitimate before giving them any of your personal and/or financial information.
If the deal feels too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.
The Better Business Bureau recommends using a credit card when purchasing any product or service through a website. If your transaction is protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act, and you receive a defective product or it doesn’t arrive at all, you can dispute the charge and temporarily hold the payment while the credit company investigates them.
For more information, please check out: