Shopping online can save you time and money, but it can also be costly if you’re not careful about scams involving shopping and shipping.

That’s because scammers target people looking for ‘amazing’ deals or trick them with ‘free’ offers or false shipping problems.

When shopping on the Internet, experts recommend that you buy from trusted businesses whenever possible. Don’t be tricked by super-low prices from unknown sellers.

Protect yourself by:

  • Making sure the business is legitimate. If you’ve never heard of it, check online reviews or articles. Don’t be tricked into giving out personal or financial information to scam sites that will never deliver the product you want.
  • Pay with a credit card. They often have built-in consumer protections that guard you in cases of fraud.
  • Don’t be fooled by unsolicited emails promising free products or coupons. Crooks that want to steal personal information or to place malware on your computer often design these emails.
  • Many big shopping sites also serve as a storefront for independent, third-party sellers. It is a good idea to only buy from sellers that have a good reputation rating with lots of reviews.

Don’t be fooled by phone calls or emails that claim there is a problem delivering a product. Scammers use these methods to try to trick you out of personal information or money.

To avoid delivery scams:

  • If you know you have ordered a product, use the delivery tracking information emailed to you after making your order.
  • Don’t click on any links or download any attachments in an unsolicited email that says ‘Your product can’t be delivered’ unless you provide sensitive information such as your Social Security number, or financial account or credit card numbers.
  • If you have delivery questions, refer to the online receipt you received after your purchase and make contact through an official website address, phone number or live online chat.

While online shopping is easy, it’s important to use trusted sellers, be cautious about how you make your purchase, and be wary of delivery scams.