Winter sales : Avoid scams on the internet

Winter sales are about to start. But beware of scams.

Winter sales are a good time to do business online ! But be careful and do not fall into the trap of fake websites spoofing the name of big brands. What you think is a saving of money could appear to be waste of money in a scam.

On the net, there are many fake e-commerce sites. Those are created by fraudsters for the sole purpose to cash a payment from you. In order to achieve this goal, they offer goods at very attractive prices. But after having placed your order, you will not receive anything or, in the “best” case, a low-end product that has nothing to do with your order…

winter salesOne of the usual ways to spot an e-commerce is the excessive amount of discounts it offers. But as the sales period begins, detecting a fake website will be tough because even official webstores offer discounts. It means that everyone must be more vigilant than ever.

But hope is not lost. There are other simple ways to doubt about the seriousness of an e-commerce site during winter sales: If the website is riddled with spelling mistakes or weird sentences, there is little chance that this is an official website. So do not order on it.

If the site title contains the words “cheap”, “discount” or even “clearance”, there is a good chance that this is a scam. Flee such websites.

Among the brands whose products are offered by many scammers, can be found : Abercrombie, Ralph Lauren, Moncler, Louis Vitton, Louboutin, Nike ….

Avoid scam at Christmas !

Stay clear of scam during your Christmas shopping!

With the end of the year approaching, you are definitely going to make your Christmas shopping, or at least thinking about it seriously. Perhaps you’ve already found all or part of Christmas gifts for your relatives or will you do it at the very last moment?

If you think to buy your gifts online, do not wait anymore because you must not overlook the delivery time that can sometimes extend into this holiday season. But do not rush on the first Website! You should first check a few key elements to avoid scam as a Christmas gift.

Here are the precautions to take before making a purchase from an e-commerce site in order to prevent scam :

  • Beware of low prices!

On the Internet, competition is fierce between online shop and the prices are optimized, particularly during the Christmas period. Therefore, it is impossible that a website offers a product that is clearly cheaper than the competition. There can be 2 or 3% of difference but a 10% difference is more than suspect. This is perhaps a fraudulent site that displays low price in order to get a maximum of orders without delivering any.

  • Check terms and conditions of sale

christmas tree

Credit: mattbuck

First, if the website you have found has no legal terms and conditions of sale, flee! If the site has these pages, but written in barely comprehensible English, flee as well.

Check the e-commerce law of your country. Most of the time, mandatory information is to be given on a dedicated page. For instance, the company name, a company registration number, VAT  number, a business mail address and a contact email address.

  • Do not order on sites whose name contains “cheap” or “discount”

If you are looking for a specific product, do not order on a website whose name is made up of the brand with the words “cheap” or “discount”. For instance, if you want a pair of Nike shoes, do not go on sites that would be called Nikecheap.com or Nikediscount.com

  • Check previous customer comments

Still have doubts? Another way to check the seriousness of an ecommerce site is to perform a research on a search engine. For example, you have found a site that would be called supersalesdiscountcheap.com (This site does not currently exist) but you have doubts. Type in Google “supersalesdiscountcheap.com”. The first line will be the website itself, but the next lines can be very interesting. If you come across a number of comments suggesting that this is a scam, go away.

If there are a lot of positive comments, it can also be a bad sign. People in charge of the website may have issued false positive ratings to embellish their popularity. In general, people leave opinions to express their disappointment, but not that much when they are satisfied with the service.

Enjoy the Christmas holidays and stay away from scam on the internet!

Stay away from student loan spam and dishonest ads

Many scammers occupy the Internet with spam and fake ads promising renegotiation of any student loan.

No matter if you are a student or not, you cannot avoid them. Student loan spam is reaching every day your mailbox. You probably don’t pay attention to those e-mails expect may be if you are a student struggling with your loans and close to a what is called student loans default.

  • Spam leading to phishing

On the image below, you can see an example of what this spam looks like.

student loan spam

credit : 1sc.org

If you click on one of the proposed links, you will be redirected to a website asking for questions about you and your loan status. Then, you are invited to check your credit score on another website, which appears to be a classical credit card phishing attempt.

credit : 1sc.org

credit : 1sc.org

  • Spam leading to undue fees

One alternative for scammers about student loan spam is to pretend to be able to propose a renegotiated loan to student. By before getting a new loan, the scammer pretend you must pay application fees.

If a student loan renegotiation website seems professional and trusty, run away immediately when they ask you to pay fees ! During any loan process, the borrowers will never be asked to give money in order to receive money.

If you pay those advanced fees, the scammer will disappeared with your money or will find a reason to ask you more fees. In both cases you will not get a new loan. And you will get in deeper trouble as you will lose money whereas you probably don’t have a lot if you need a loan…

  • Dishonest ads

Recently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), sent letters to major internet companies Google, Yahoo and Bing to do something to prevent student loan scams, especially about dishonest ads targeting students and leading them to scams.

Do not trust the e-mails you received or the ads you see on the Internet promising to renegotiate your student loan. Those are scams !