Some online deals charge but don’t deliver

by Rosario Méndez

Lots of people like to shop online. It’s easy and sometimes faster than finding what you want at the local mall. With just a few clicks, your order is processed and your purchase could be on your doorstep the next day. That is, unless you clicked on an ad that was really a scam.

Online ads that offer deals on luxury items at low prices can be part of a scheme to take your money and give you nothing in return. Scammers falsely use well-known name brands in their ads for clothing, shoes, online games, and other expensive items to entice you. Scammers know that people looking for a good deal may be tempted to click on their links. But if you know how to spot online shopping scams, you can avoid losing your money — and more.

If you like to shop online, keep these tip-offs to rip-offs in mind:

  • Anyone can set up an online shop. So before you place an order online, confirm that the shop has a physical address and a phone number where you can reach someone if you have problems with your order.
  • Scammers often offer luxury brands at ridiculously low prices to trick you.
  • Clicking on pop-up ads can download viruses, spyware, malware, and other unwanted software to your computer. It’s best to avoid them.
  • If the seller requires payment through a wire transfer or by you giving them numbers off a gift card or prepaid card, that’s a scam. Legitimate sellers won’t restrict payment to those methods.

For more tips, visit our Shopping & Saving page. While you’re at it, sign up for our scam alerts to help you recognize and report scams and frauds.

Link: consumer.ftc.gov

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