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How to Avoid Fake Online Shopping Sites and Parcel Delivery Scams

By 25th February 2014

The Internet has fast become the most popular place for people to find and buy what they are looking for and as such online transactions are now common place. The choice of sites where people can buy and sell goods is extensive with eBay, Amazon, Gumtree, Craigslist and many more offering the perfect platforms for them to do so.

Courier services and parcel delivery firms go hand-in-hand with many of these websites because people need to send and receive their goods as quickly as they can. Sadly with all the benefits and advantages the Internet offers consumers, the same can be said of the unscrupulous people who want to get their hands on your hard earned cash through postal scams and fake websites.

Spotting a Fake Site Can be Tricky

Today, the Internet is a busy virtual shopping zone where fraudsters can create a “fake” website which trusting people then browse and often purchase an item from. This means they enter their sensitive personal details including their credit card numbers. The problem is the fake sites are set up to imitate legitimate and established online retailers. If any goods do show up on your doorstep they would more than likely be counterfeit and of inferior quality and your card details would be then used for other fraudulent transactions by the people who set up the fake sites. These are typically organised gangs of criminals with some websites even being set up by terrorists as a way to launder money.

Tread Carefully Before Buying Anything Online

The key to not being duped by a fake site is to tread carefully before buying anything online. You should check the website address and make sure that it is the right one. If you have any doubts then it’s best to leave the site without entering any of your personal details. Another tell-tale sign of a fake site is the artwork and graphics which legitimate businesses spend a lot of money on in order to make a good impression. If the graphics look awry and the artwork is of poor quality, the chances are the site is a fake one.

Fake sites often have a lot of spelling mistakes and the grammar used is all wrong both in the content and the messages that attempt to encourage people to click on to any links which could contain malware.

Parcel & Postal Delivery Scams

Please be aware that postal and parcel scams are becoming more common

More consumers are being scammed by unscrupulous people on the Internet these days with the scammers coming up with innovative ways of getting the trusting public to part with their money. One of the most recent scams to hit the headlines has seen a lot of people getting their fingers burned through an email which purports to come from the Royal Mail and other courier services.

The message contains harmful malware which once on a computer can cause a lot of damage. The message informs people of lost/missing packages or parcels which have been detained by customs and the only way to get an item released is to fill out a form which is attached the message. Should a person click onto the link and fill out the form, it could prove very expensive because the message is bogus and not from the Royal Mail or other couriers at all. The best thing to do if you receive an email that’s suspicious is to delete it immediately and then report it to the right authorities straight away.

The Royal Mail and other couriers or parcel delivery services would never send out an email asking for a person’s credit card details or other confidential data. They would never ask anyone to fill out their information via a link or attachment either.

Conclusion

With more fake sites and postal scams occurring, it’s important to be cautious when buying anything on the Internet. You have to check out the address in your browser to make sure it is the correct one. If you receive an email message from a courier service telling you there’s a parcel waiting to be delivered but you need to pay a charge and fill out a form with your personal details, the best course of action is to contact the company by telephone to ask if they have sent out the message and to never click on any links in the email message