Once upon a time, the only way to get your shopping done was at a brick-and-mortar store. In terms of crime, shoppers may have been worried about muggers and swindlers, but one concern they probably did not have was that the entire store was fake. Unfortunately, that exact threat is something that modern-day shoppers have to contend with.
Internet shopping frauds have been around as long as the internet, but a report by the Ghana Police Service and Cyber Security Authority shows they rose twofold between December 2016 and May 2018. The risks of making a purchase on a fake site depends on who set it up and why. Some scammers want to steal your financial information and personal data. Others simply want to sell you counterfeit goods or goods that never arrive. While both are sketchy, the former can be a lot more damaging to your bank account and credit score.
Detecting internet shopping frauds can be tricky. Since you can’t rely on antivirus or browser protections to alert you that you’ve stumbled upon a fraudulent site, you’ll instead have to perform your own website scammer check.
Keep an eye out for these signs that you’re on a fake shopping website.
Pandemic purchases lead to record reports of unreceived goods, Federal Trade Commission
Safe Browsing site status, Google Transparency Report
BBB Scam Tracker, Better Business Bureau
Report to help fight fraud!, ReportFraud.ftc.gov
BBB Online Complaint System, Better Business Bureau