Online shopping: Advantages and pitfalls

Online shopping is convenient but comes with risks - protect yourself against consumer fraud.

Online shopping is wildly popular worldwide because of the convenience it affords consumers. However, there are some dangers to be aware of:

Jennifer* found a pair of sunglasses online that she wanted to buy, and for much cheaper than the brand normally sold for. She entered her credit card details, and her payment was confirmed. The sunglasses didn't arrive within the 3-week delivery period. She tried following up with the store but neither the email address nor the phone number worked, and she was unable to contact anyone from the store or website. She cancelled her credit card to ensure that it could not be used fraudulently, but she never got her money back.

It turns out that Jennifer had been scammed by a spoofed website. This is a type of online scam where someone has constructed a website designed to appear to be a legitimate business, with the purpose of getting consumers' payments fraudulently.

*This story is based on actual events, but the character name(s) have been changed.

As a rule, don’t purchase from websites or apps that you are unsure of: Online search results for products and companies can often include websites and apps that are not legitimate.

Always verify that you are using a company’s official app or website before making a purchase.


How to avoid online scams

Risks of online shopping

Tips for safe online shopping


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