There’s no denying how easy it is to shop online. You can purchase items from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), and you don’t need to spend time traveling to and from the store. A drawback of shopping on the internet, however, is the risk of getting scammed into making a fraudulent purchase. When you buy anything from a fake website, you not only lose your money but also run the risk of getting your personal information leaked.
Here are a few tips for shopping online safely:
1. Ensure that you’re on the official site
When internet shopping, check the URL of the site you want to buy from and make sure that it matches the official site’s address. Watch out for misspelled URLs, which could be as subtle as replacing the letter “I” with the number “1.” If you’re unsure of the correct address, visit the brand’s verified social channels—these usually feature the link to their site on their bio as well as within content.
Also, URLs of e-commerce websites usually start with “https” and show a closed padlock icon. These signify that the site is secure and is backed by a web server certificate.
2. Be careful with unbelievable deals
Scammers use large discounts and other “too good to be true” deals to hook customers into making fraudulent purchases online. To verify the deals, visit the brand’s social channels or join their email list.
Tip: Sign up for Balsam Hill’s newsletter to get information on our latest offers and special deals straight to your mailbox.
3. Watch out for errors in spelling, photos, and other details
If you encounter things like typographical errors and lower-quality images, check the rest of the site. While an isolated issue can simply be an honest mistake, multiple errors may signify that a site isn’t legitimate. It’s important to note, however, that these types of errors aren’t always sure signs of a scam website.
4. Make sure your connection and device are safe
One way to help yourself have a safe online shopping experience is to ensure that your phone or laptop and internet connection are secure. This is especially important because you will have to share your personal information and payment details before finalizing your order.
In general, it’s best to use a personal device and connection instead of public ones when making an online purchase. Also, to add another layer of security, make it a habit to delete your browsing history after inputting sensitive information. Don’t forget to make sure you have an antivirus tool installed on your device.
5. Use secure payment methods
The safest way to purchase online is to pay via credit card or through a secure payment channel like PayPal. This gives you the option to dispute a transaction and get your money back in the event of a fraudulent transaction.
6. Shop only with reputable brands
When you buy something online from trusted brands, you’re not only guaranteed the authenticity of what you’re buying but also the quality of the products. If you’re unsure if a store you want to buy from is legitimate, you can also ask people you know or check verified reviews online.
Everyone loves deals and discounts, but it’s always important to verify before you avail them. We hope this online shopping safety guide helps you identify fraudulent websites. Also, we hope that this gives you the confidence on how to shop online securely from reputable brands.
If you suspect you have come into contact with an illegitimate Balsam Hill ad, page, listing, or website, kindly let us know through the social accounts mentioned above or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.