As the end of the year approaches it is important to be on the lookout for suspicious emails, text messages, phone calls and even letters, as the number of purchase scams and fake delivery scams skyrockets each holiday season.
With so many people choosing to shop online it is very easy for scammers to use the hustle and bustle of November and December to exploit unsuspecting consumers who may not know whether their latest purchase was supposed to be delivered by Evri, DPD, Parcelforce, Royal Mail or any number of other delivery services.
This makes it very difficult to know whether a simple text message claiming that your delivery has failed and that you need to click a link to reschedule for a new time slot is legitimate or a scam. As a rule of thumb, if they ask for payment details (even if they claim the fee is very small) it is almost certainly a delivery scam and could cost you a lot.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Transactions From Online Scams
- Always try to use well-known, reputable and established retailers;
- Double-check that the website URL looks legitimate;
- If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Always approach incredible deals with caution and be extra vigilant. Read the small print to make sure you’re actually getting what you believe you are getting.
- If possible, pay using a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards offer more protection than debit cards.
When paying for the item it is very important to make sure the payment portal looks legitimate and secure to protect your personal and financial information. If the site doesn’t allow payments via a credit card, this is a red flag.
You can also use online tools to run a search on the domain name to see how long the website has been registered. If the site is only a few days or weeks old, this is a sign that the site is a scam.
Copy and paste the address from the top of the Internet browser window into the search box. On this webpage, for example, the address should be “celsolicitors.co.uk/avoid-purchase-and-delivery-scams-this-holiday-season/”