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Notice the Red Flags with Online Shopping Scams | Business

Online shopping has increased over the past few years as more and more retailers have improved the virtual shopping experience for their customers.

However, more online shopping means more opportunities for scammers to target consumers and businesses.

In the time of COVID-19, online shopping is more common than ever, creating even more opportunities for scammers selling counterfeit or fake face masks, sanitary wares, and healthcare products.

For shoppers, shopping online carries the risk of losing money on counterfeit items or items that never arrive. Giving credit card information to an untrusted website can lead to identity theft.

For businesses, online shopping scams can mean selling to scammers using fraudulent cards. As businesses and credit card companies step up measures to prevent fraud, it remains a possibility that could lead to problems for businesses that unknowingly process stolen cards through their payment system.

The Better Business Bureau, serving the heartland of Texas, offers these tips for consumers and businesses to protect themselves against online fraud:

For consumers:

  • Pay attention to product claims. Consumers will be looking for the best products and deals more than ever. Scammers will try to lure them in with big claims that their products will work instantly or cure ailments. Use your best judgment to determine if a claim is legitimate. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Find contact details. Look on the company’s website for contact information. This information will allow you to contact the company directly if there is a problem with your purchase. A lack of contact information is often a red flag of an online shopping scam.
  • Look for reputable retailers. A reputable company will deliver quality products on time. Many businesses are contacting their customers to alert them to any shipping and delivery delays caused by COVID-19. The best way to find a reputable business is to read reviews from past customers, ask friends and family for recommendations, and search for business profiles on BBB.org. Also, more and more small businesses are offering online ordering, which means you may be able to find a small business that you’ve done business with before. It is important to find a secure website to protect your credit card from fraudulent use.

For companies :

  • Know the red flags. There are several red flags that could indicate fraud when purchasing online. These include unusually large purchases, repeated requests for rush orders on high priced itmss, multiple payment cards from the same IP address and more. Generally, fraud is indicated by several of these signs rather than just one.
  • Be diligent. If you notice multiple red flags, take action to protect your business and your customers. Contact the credit card provider to report suspicious activity, try reaching the phone number provided, or call the merchant bank to verify the billing address.

Train your staff. Put policies in place to make credit card purchases safer. Train your staff in the implementation

  • these policies effectively and by recognizing the red flags.

With online shopping playing an important role in the daily lives of consumers, it is essential to ensure the safety of businesses and consumers. For more tips on avoiding fraud, go to BBB.org.