The Customer Safety Guide to Online Shopping

In recent years, the Internet has made shopping convenient and hassle-free because there are no more geographic restrictions for consumers to buy something. In the comforts of their seats, anyone can order a new pair of shoes or buy the latest electronic gadgets without thinking of going to the mall. The sky is the limit for online shopping Australia as it allows us to be more flexible in our choices and preferences. As much as the advantages of online shopping, not all people know about the risks associated with it. Identity theft and credit card fraud are the most serious issues that undermine consumer safety when it comes to buying things online. It is important to check if the online retailers offering the hottest daily deals in any search portal are reliable.

Though there are no long queues when you’re discount shopping online, you may want to reconsider your options even if you don’t the vendor’s reliability. Once you know that the vendor is reliable then you can say that online transactions can be as secured as actual face-to-face transactions because the middleman in the transaction is eliminated from the equation. However, your private and credit card information is actually exposed to some people involved in the transaction. In this case, criminals prey on individuals who are not careful in their online purchases. Here are timely consumer safety tips for safe online shopping:

Be a skeptic

There are online deals that sound too good to be true so if you’re unsure, do a research in order to know if an outrageous discount is really what it is. You wouldn’t want to get tricked into divulging your personal information, would you? Carefully compare the prices from other similar deals so that you can find a better one and not ending up paying even more than what you bargained for.

What’s the catch?

Be keen when checking the details and conditions shown in the online retailers’ advertisements in online shopping sites before making the transaction. If it looks amateurish then you should be wary of phishers and identity thefts looking to spring in the trap on unsuspecting consumers like you. Read the fine print because the choice of words may mean something. Vintage, pre-owned, or close-out may mean less-than-mint or counterfeit.

Double-check always helps

If you are dealing with a merchant that you don’t have any knowledge with then you might as well go over the site and check out for any suspicious information before you place your orders on the shopping cart. Make sure to check for hidden charges, return policies, product warranties, shipping costs, and privacy protection. Take extra precaution on sites that don’t post telephone numbers, proper addresses, and dubious contact information.

Know the telltale signs

Experts agree that most people can’t identify a secure website or any cheap online shopping Australia. With the advent of URL shorteners and redirectors, many consumers fall to phishing scams through linkbaits. You should know that the web address of a site’s checkout page should begin with an “https” instead of “http.” There should be a closed padlock icon in the address bar that signifies that the link is secured and your private information is encrypted. A website address that has a curious alphanumeric combination is a scammer site because legitimate companies don’t have that URL.

No to sharing

If you are on an Internet café, libraries, or any other public spaces, there is greater risk that you will be sharing your private information and credit card details to identity thieves. They can access your computer without your knowledge and their key logger apps would keep track of your account numbers, logins and passwords, and private information.

Keep a paper trail

In order to keep track of your purchases and transactions, make sure that you have all the invoices on record. Choose credit card over debit card when you make your transactions because the former offers protection from identity thefts. Even if someone gets your credit card information, you can always close your account once you realise someone has gain access to your line of credit unlike debit card where criminals can just withdraw all funds in it. Don’t forget to review your credit card statements regularly.

Ensure safe delivery

Online purchases in online fashion shopping Australia should be delivered on time because your shopping experience doesn’t end after you click the “Submit” button. Before you end your transaction, make sure to review everything.

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