Shopping over the Internet has become a common activity for many consumers. Although it can be a fast, easy and convenient way to make a purchase, it is also becoming easier for scam artists to take your money. Auction rip-offs, purchase scams, spam (unsolicited emails) and phishing (an unsolicited email trying to ‘phish’ personal information from you) are all popular methods used by scam artists.
Following the basic rules for smart in-store shopping will serve you well when shopping over the Internet. The extra challenge the Internet presents is that some of the clues you use, perhaps even unconsciously, when shopping in person are missing when you shop online. Since the electronic merchant you deal with may be in another town or province, or even on a different continent, you cannot walk around the premises and get a feel for the place, its products or personnel.