Whether we like it or not, there are people online that are always looking to run a scam. It makes us each more cautious when doing business online, but it shouldn’t make us completely untrusting of the internet. I have been approached with probably 10’s of thousands of scams in my 15 years online, and with a little homework, I have never fallen for even 1 that I didn’t get my money back on.
Probably most common scam type that will apply to the visitors of Julie’s Freebies is going to be ordering items and never receiving them. This one can usually be avoided with a little knowledge and some research. First thing I do when ordering online is check to see if the site I am going to order from appears reputable. I look up reviews online, search for their site name on Google and check out comments on their Facebook page. Once I establish from some homework that it is a good site, I proceed. Doing this one step will eliminate most scams!
The second thing that I do is make sure to pay with either a credit card, or PayPal. I decide based on what the site takes, and what goods they are selling. Some goods aren’t covered under PayPal buyer protection such as virtual goods. If you have an issue with an order you place with PayPal, make sure to file a dispute within 45 days, no matter what the person sending you the items may say. If someone is making excuses after 30 days still, the dispute will either get them in gear to get your order out, or they will just quit responding. Whatever you do, DO NOT CANCEL A DISPUTE UNTIL YOU GET WHAT YOU ORDER! With a credit card, depending on the card, you can have more time to dispute a charge. It isn’t as easy as the paypal disputes, but they work as well. If you have issues with something you buy online, do not hesitate to use one of these options, they will save you money!
Not only do people get scammed when they buy items online, but also when they sell as well. There are many scams that run through sites like Craigslist. Many times if you put something up for sale you will get inquiries about shipping an item. NEVER ship an item through Craigslist. Often time’s people will pay, and what do you know, they will send too much money via cashier’s check, and then request the overage back from you. Too many times it happens where someone actually does send the overage back, and the person selling the item can end up without their money and without the item they thought they sold. Easiest way to avoid this, is again, just simply do not ship items on Craigslist. When I buy or sell on Craigslist, and I have bought everything from computers to TVs to furniture to cars, I meet in a public place with lots of traffic. A busy grocery store can work well; you just want to make sure others are around to be safe as possible. I have never had any issues buying or selling there, but I always keep my guard up and use common sense.
Other ways people get scammed online is when they go to try for an online loan. While there are many great resources to get a loan, there are some not so great ones that prey upon people’s financial hardship to make a quick dime off of a bad situation. Never send upfront money for a loan online! One great resource to check out for loan scam information is over at Direct Lending Solutions on their loan scam page.
The best advice is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If you ever come across something you have questions about, feel free to contact me, and I will do my best to get back to you and let you know my opinion. I am a bit cynical when it comes to online dealings, but it has saved me lots of money!