How do you know if you’re buying online from a trusted seller? You might think that shopping on major platforms like Walmart, Amazon, and eBay protects you from scams. That’s not always the case.
Scammers can sneak low-quality products onto these sites and scam you. So the question is, why does this happen and what can you do to avoid falling victim to online scams?
How can scammers sell products on major companies’ websites?
Some online retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart, allow third-party sellers to offer products on their platforms. This is a huge benefit for small business owners who want to reach more users with their products.
The downside is that this opens the door to scammers posting fake or counterfeit products to scam customers. As you can imagine, this is a serious issue that damages the trust and reputation of both retailers and authorized sellers.
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What types of products do scammers usually sell?
Have you ever seen an iPhone sold at an exorbitantly low price? If so, you may have encountered scammers trying to trick you into purchasing a fake or stolen device. I don’t know.
Some scammers also sell fake counterfeit stampsa roll of 100 stamps is being advertised on Facebook for as low as $19.99.
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Scammers will sell anything they think will make money, especially electronics. These devices often come with a hefty price tag, making them definitely a hot ticket for criminals.
So when a scammer lists a cheap product, innocent buyers looking to save money can jump on it without doing any research and get scammed.
An offer too good to be true
For example, as of this writing, a 2 TB external hard drive typically costs at least $100.
However, at the time of researching this article, I was able to find this in just a few minutes on Walmart’s site for just $19.99. Pretty hard to believe, right?
Walmart allows third party products to be sold on its website. According to Walmart.com, third-party sellers are independent sellers who offer a variety of products on Walmart Marketplace. When you purchase a product from a third-party seller, you are purchasing directly from the third-party seller and not from Walmart.
I took a closer look at this and saw that there were only 3 reviews and they weren’t very good. Additionally, the seller’s page did not appear to be specialized in electronics.
A variety of products were on sale, from children’s pillows to drawstring bags.
This is not a product I can trust. However, some people may be excited to see the low price of $19.99 and rush to add it to their cart.
What should I pay attention to when shopping online?
There are some things you should always keep in mind when shopping online, so here are some of my tips.
Good reviews are an important sign to know whether a product is good or not. If the reviews are sparse, vague, or overall negative, it’s best to move on and look for another product, even if you have to spend a little more money.
Please consider the price
Which brings us to the next point: price. Of course, sometimes companies have big sales, or you might be eligible for a special offer that lowers the price by a few dollars.
However, if a product that would normally be listed at a high price point is listed at an outrageously low price on one website, and you can’t find it at that low price anywhere else, that could be a red flag. There is a gender. Trust your instincts and don’t buy the first thing you see just because it’s cheaper.
Look at the seller’s page
The person selling the product can tell you a lot about whether it is genuine or not. Similar to the example above, if you’re looking for high-quality electronics, look for a seller that specializes in electronics, or at least a seller that doesn’t sell electronics, but at least has a department that specializes in electronics. You will be purchasing from a seller. Use one device to sell other random products.
A seller’s page will also show reviews from people who have purchased from them before, so you can see if they have a good relationship with the buyer.
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Detect fake reviews and scams with Fakespot
One way to tell if a review is related to your product or was written by a bot or paid reviewer is: use fake spots. This is a tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect fake reviews and fraud on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and other online sellers.
Fakespot analyzes reviews and grades them from A to F based on their trustworthiness. You will also see the product ratings adjusted after removing fake reviews. Fakespot is available as a browser extension or mobile app and works with most popular e-commerce platforms.
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Cart important points
This issue has become so significant that the federal government is now requiring online retailers to provide information about their seller credentials under the Integrity, Notice, and Fairness in Consumer Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM Consumers) Act. calls for more appropriate scrutiny. Effective in June.
This law increases transparency and accountability in online marketplaces by requiring online marketplaces to collect, verify, and disclose certain information about third-party sellers who sell large quantities of new and unused consumer products. It is intended to increase. The law also gives the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and states the power to enforce the law and impose civil penalties for violations.
While this represents some progress, major retailers could certainly do more to prevent scammers from selling on their sites.
For this reason, you should be careful of yourself and always do your homework when shopping online. We hope this new law will force retailers to do more to keep their customers safe.
What more do you think retailers can do to protect their customers? Email us. Cyberguy.com/Contact.
For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report newsletter using the link below. Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.
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