Shopping Online

11 Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed When Shopping Online

In today’s busy world, most people don’t have time to spare, which is why shopping online becomes more popular. Although it’s convenient, the risk of not getting what you ordered is higher, too. Just imagine how you’ll feel once you purchase a tank top and you get a sweatshirt instead.

Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid getting scammed when shopping online. Whether it’s your first time shopping online or you want to purchase a gift for your loved ones, below are some of the tips you should keep in mind to avoid becoming a victim of scams:

Never Give Out Too Much Information

For online purchases, the usual information required includes phone number, address, and credit card details. If the website asks for more information, like your social security number, consider it already as a red flag. 

For instance, when you’re paying for cryptocurrency services, make sure to provide the necessary details only. If possible, skip the optional text fields and make sure to read helpful reviews like


Shopping on an unknown website doesn’t just present the risks of your credit card number and some information that could be stolen. 

The best solution for this is to use a virtual private network (VPN), which conceals your online activities, IP address, and communications from any unwanted peeper. It can also be a great resource for anybody trying to purchase online securely.

Make Purchases On Secure Websites Only

When shopping online, never trust websites that don’t have any encryption. You can check if the website is encrypted in many ways. One of these is a padlock symbol, which appears in the tab of your web browser. Another way to detect a secure website is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) in the website address.

HTTPS means that all details you enter into the website will be protected and encrypted from eavesdropping or interception by malicious parties. However, most phishing websites can appear safe because they use HTTPS. In this case, your personal information will be encrypted.

Read The Privacy Policy

Reputable businesses always have pages on their website regarding their privacy policy. It’s essential to research it to ensure that the business will use your information only for purchases and nothing else.  

Take note that even reliable businesses can use your emails for advertisement reasons, and others may pass your information to third parties.

Watch Out For Grammar And Spelling Mistakes

You don’t have to become an editor to pick up on whether or not the written text on your website is fishy. The only thing you should do is to pay attention to every little detail when browsing online shopping websites.

Once you notice significant grammar and spelling mistakes, this can be a dead giveaway that the website isn’t what it seems. While even other legit businesses have typos, if you spot odd problems, like formatting errors and excessive capitalization, it’s a reason to go ahead and skip to another more reliable website.

Pay With Secured Payment Methods

Once you pay for something over the internet, you must always pay on secured pages with a key or padlock symbol. If possible, pay using your credit card so you can recover your money from credit card issuers in case of online fraud. Also, avoid direct money transfers as much as possible and stick to trustworthy means of payments.

Check The Online Shop’s Credibility

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to check the online store’s credibility by reading online reviews and checking various business listings. By reading reviews, you’ll be able to know the experience of other shoppers about a product or a business, helping you avoid possible mistakes.

If an online store has an About section or page, read it. This section often includes the history of the shop, how it was established, and the team behind it. However, if you’re not satisfied with the information you’ve read, check their social media accounts and reach out to them for inquiries.

Avoid Too-Good-To-Be-True Things

Everything has its price. If there are items on online shopping websites that are too good to be true, you might want to think twice about purchasing those stuff. This is especially true if the retailer has no reviews yet. These good-to-be-true deals are one of the ways for fraudsters to grab one’s attention. 

Other than the price, you must also check the images of the products because there are instances that scammers use other legit seller’s product images.

Take Advantage Of Credit Card Protection Services

Even if you think that the website is reliable, it doesn’t mean your personal details are safe. One of the insidious scams online is when hackers get your credit card details from secured websites.

If your preferred credit card provider offers unique credit card numbers that you can use for particular websites, don’t hesitate to take advantage of them.

Check Your Card Statements Regularly

If you always purchase things online, it’s essential to regularly check your statements to ensure that you’re not getting scammed. You can check your electronic statements through your provider or online. Keep track of the items you purchase and how much you spend on every transaction. This will help you spot any irregularity easily. 

If you see unexpected or suspicious charges on your statements, reach out to the online shopping website. If you can’t, call your bank to report potential fraud.

Never Save Your Credit Card Details In Your Web Browsers

When making online purchases, your web browsers will ask if you want to save your credit card details for purchases in the future to make everything easy and convenient. However, although saving your credit card details in web browsers can help you make purchases quickly, it can be risky because cyber criminals might hack or compromise your device. 

Besides, you might not want to sacrifice your online security just for the sake of your convenience, right? Even if it’s time-consuming to fill up the checkout form, it’s still a wise option to prevent scams.

Bottom Line

It’s always nice to order some things online as you recline on your couch comfortably, but your experience can be devastating once fake sellers steal your money. 

To avoid getting scammed, make sure to do the tips above and take immediate action when you notice something suspicious. With those tips, you won’t only avoid stress from shopping online, but you’ll also be safe from scams.

About the Author

Lillie Byrd

Lillie Byrd is a saving expert for CouponKirin. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor, authored a personal finance book in 2012. She previously was a reporter at Digital Journal, covering consumer products, society, and other business topics. She also has a certificate in finance from Boston University.