A lot of us are familiar with online shopping. Whether we’re too busy or we simply enjoy being able to browse and purchase from the comfort of our beds, we’re likely to have gone online at least once within the last couple months to place an order. But while the accessibility of these online shops can be very intriguing, there’s also a danger that is present with any kind of online money transaction…you never really know what you paid for or who you’re dealing with, especially with the smaller retailers and international ones. There are quite a few sites which have popped up and appear to be legit…only to send you items you did not ask for, or not even send them at all. It’s happened to thousands of people online, as you will soon learn, and it could happen to you! If you’re worried about falling victim to online scams, then you may want to keep a few of the following things in mind…
In the recent while, there’s been a lot of clothing and accessory based stores popping up with unbeatable prices and really appealing items. Deals such as 6 bucks for a cute dress or sweater seems like the dream doesn’t it? Well, if it’s too good to be true…it probably is. See, a lot of these Asian based companies are actually a front for one particular scam. What happens is you think you’re paying a great deal for an outfit, and then what you end up getting is either a) nothing or more commonly b) cheap fabric, too small of a size, discolored, ripped cloth that doesn’t even resemble the item you ordered. This is a real thing that’s been happening.
There’s been a Facebook group (or a number of them) which has originated as a result of these online scams, warning shoppers to stay away from particular online “stores’, as they’re not as legitimate as they look. For a full list you can check out the group below. These “stores” seem to be a place where you can purchase anything for extremely low prices and shipping…and they’ve got a TON of Facebook likes, so they must be legit right?! Not in the slightest. The social media popularity of sites such as RoseGal, Sammygirl, Dresslily and Zaful has been faked/bought, and they don’t actually represent many happy customers. The online reviews for items on this website have also been altered, with any negative review being hidden through their “approval” process. A simple Facebook or Google search of the store name will tell you that there are a LOT of unhappy customers, rather than satisfied ones when it comes to these “stores”.
Use Social Media Before Buying
Your best bet with these Asian based outlet stores that have not been confirmed or don’t have a successful reputation is to stay away. The clothing you do receive usually will be too small (based on Western sizing) and the material will not be exactly like what you ordered. If you do still want to purchase, try looking at Ebay and the highly rated sellers on there for discount clothing coming to you from Asia. Before making a purchase, make sure to do a quick Google, Twitter and Facebook search of the store name and check out some reviews…if it’s not legit, then chances are someone’s already been scammed by them.
Here’s two Facebook Groups made to elaborate on these scams and customers posting their real reviews AND what they received.
If your store of choice isn’t on these lists, try typing in “Store Name* Scam” or “Store Name* Review” on Facebook/Twitter.
Another great way to ensure your financial safety is to only use credit cards with fraud protection, as they are more likely to be able to sort it out for you if you do end up getting involved with scam websites. Based on shopper’s experiences with these scam sites and Paypal, there’s a lot of fuss and back and forth in order to get any refund, so you may want to save yourself the stress and worry by avoiding using payment methods which do not enable you to easily access refunds or fraud protection.
Watch For The Lock
Your Web browser can actually recognize some fake sites upon arrival. If you are on a Web page, look for sites that start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://), in order to ensure your safety. You will also see a lock icon appear either next to the URL in the address bar or at the bottom of your Web Browser.
Play It Safe
The most important piece of information you need when online shopping is to listen to your gut instinct. If something seems too good to be true, you should be cautious. It’s a hassle to email about refunds or returns with scam companies especially, so to save yourself trouble focus on large retailers on in person purchases, and avoid these discounted “too good to be true” prices you may see advertised across the Web. You should also be checking your statements and Paypal charges on a regular basis to ensure there are no strange or false charges on your account.
While online shopping can be easy and convenient for us as shoppers, it is also just as easy for scammers and fraudulent “businesses” to access our money. So stay informed and never purchase something you aren’t 100% sure is coming from a trusted retailer!