We’ve all heard the quote “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”. Everyday technology brings new offers to the public that sound like just that – too good to be true. While in the past scammers preyed on innocents via phone and mail, the new age of social media and technology has evolved how people get scammed and who the target is – everyone.
Con artists are using social media and the internet to lure victims into false relationships, giving out back information, and stealing people’s identity. Hackers aren’t only making emotional connections, but also using a sense of urgency to manipulate consumers into giving over their identities and bank accounts. This is no different in the daily deal industry. While some sites are legit, there are also scams within daily deal sites that take advantage of promotion finders.
Here are some tips to consider when purchasing from daily deal sites:
1. Avoid suspicious websites. There are currently countless daily deal sites and more launching everyday. While most may be legit, it’s a good idea to stick with reputable sites that you might have had past successful purchases with, know someone who has, or has received good reviews. While it’s always great to support new start ups in the industry, make sure that they have a known record for following through with their promises. A quick way to do this is to check their Facebook wall or Twitter feed. Also, beware of websites which are not appealing to the eye.
2. Research the company. Looking at a company’s Better Business Bureau profile only takes a minute and can give you a ton of information. The site offers a list of known scammers, a complaint section, and business reviews. Look online and see if there is any documentation stating that the company has history any of fraud. Even by “Googling” a company, one can find out a lot of useful information. Often, fraudulent websites use appealing offers to suck customers in, don’t let this be you.
3. Pay through PayPal or another protected payment site. While your never completely protected, sites like PayPal can give you a sense of security. If the company doesn’t deliver on it’s promises PayPal’s system will help with the refund process.
4. Make sure you are not charged until the goods are shipped. Many daily deal sites do not include the price for shipping. When paying for shipping watch your credit card transactions to make sure when you are charged. It is illegal for a company to charge you prior to shipping your order. So if you see a shipping charge on your credit card bill or Paypal statement before you receive a shipment confirmation, it’s a red flag.
5. Don’t give out too much information. Be weary of websites that ask for personal information, such as your social security number or driver’s license numbers. Always know that they do not need this information to process and purchase transactions. If they are asking for this information, they are probably trying to steal your identity.
Source: Money Saving Moms