How to Avoid a Scam When Making a Purchase Online

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Engaging in online transactions has become not only quite common in recent years—it’s often the preferred way of exchanging money for goods or services among many. As frequently as buying and selling online occurs, there are going to be instances in which a person should be extra cautious to avoid being scammed when making an online purchase.

If you’re worried about being scammed, take heart. There are steps you can take to keep yourself from being taken advantage of by others online. By adhering to these helpful tips, you can avoid becoming the victim of an online scam before you lose money and more:

Know Your Seller

First things first: what do you know about the seller of the product or the service which you’re considering purchasing? Do they have a good reputation in the online marketplace among other buyers? Have they sold the same product before? Are there any reviews that you can glance over to see if past buyers have been happy with their interaction with the seller in question? If some things seem off-putting or suspicious, trust your gut; there’s probably good reason. Look for sellers who provide a guarantee or refunds in case of any issue.

Steer Clear of “Too Good to Be True”

Too good to be true almost always is so be wary of a deal that you have a hard time believing. If a seller or a buyer tries to arrange an unusual meeting place or payment request, take it as a giant red flag. You may be tempted to take advantage of what seems like a fantastic opportunity and worried that you may miss out, but by being patient and understanding that other deals will come along, you’ll feel less pressured to fall for what might turn out to be little more than a lie. Not every seemingly “too good” offer is a scam, however. Take the supposed “ACN scam,” which is actually anything but, and realize that some great deals are opportunities worth taking.

Simply Use Common Sense

Be careful about letting your emotions determine a sale. Never allow yourself to feel rushed to make a purchase or let your fear of losing out pressure you to buy. Be patient and feel things about before making a decision. Exercising common sense can usually keep you from being scammed by a buyer or a seller online and keep you from losing money, losing time, or losing face.