ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Managing Credit Cards & Payment Options

Internet Scams and Hoaxes

Updated on June 28, 2015

Pros and Cons of Internet Shopping

Online shopping continues to grow in popularity, because you can save a lot of money, find goods you might never find in local stores, and shop in the comfort of your own home. Many online retailers are reputable, inexpensive, and trustworthy. Unfortunately, many are dishonest. If you want to protect your identity, your credit rating, your privacy, and your finances, you need to read this article.

Each year, consumers lose over $100 billion as a direct result of internet scams, hoaxes, and phishing.  Visa recently noted that the largest reason for financial loss online is fraudulent transactions.  Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from financial loss.  Virtually all reputable online retailers have several common characteristics. Fortunately, scams do too.

Safer Online Shopping

Dave Hatter on Fox 19 (WXIX) discussing safe Internet Shopping

Free Norton And Anti Virus Protection And Spyware Removal

Stopping Identity Theft

Internet Scams and Hoaxes: Identity Theft

Protect Yourself from Internet Scams and Hoaxes

  • If you can't talk to a customer representative, don't do business with any online business. If an online business does not have readily available contact information on their site, you have to wonder why they don't want you to contact them. Reputable businesses are willing to talk to you in person. Don't do business with anyone online if they aren't willing to talk to you in person. Don't be fooled by a phone number that doesn't actually work. Call the number and talk to a person. Voicemails or answering machines don't count. Again, talk to a person. If the company has a phone number and you can talk to a representative, it's far less likely to be a scam.
  • Check to see the company's mailing address. If they don't have one, they may be trying to conceal their true identity or location. Some companies will claim to be in Canada or another highly desirable country when they are in fact in another country. Look for a mailing address. If you don't see one, move on to the next online business.
  • Check the domain name.The domain name is at the top of your computer screen. It probably looks something like this: http://www.google.com/. This is Google's domain. You can see the company's name in the domain. That's a good sign. In this example, Google is more likely to be reputable. If the domain does not have a name, beware. Online companies that are trying to scam you might have a domain that does not contain a company name but does contain a lot of information. It might look something like this: http://hymoglmet.net/Hpmegl9Ft5429solkmanzyv/hegVaprqvbm82v6t9.html. Do you see the difference? If somebody is trying to scam you, they hope you don't.
  • Don't do business with any online business that sends an advertisement to you. More often than not, they are not reputable.
  • Don't be fooled by fancy graphics. Fraudulent companies know that people are often fooled by appearance. Would you buy a nice looking car without looking at the engine? Don't judge a book by its cover. Do your research.
  • Beware of online forums. Online business reviews from these sites are highly suspect unless you know and respect the person posting a review. I recently researched a product that looked highly suspicious. The online reviews were great. One person, however, made an interesting and observant comment. He said, “I noticed that all of the reviews for this product are coming from Minnesota, the state where this product is manufactured.” Shortly after this comment was posted, the actual company posted a reply. They acknowledged that the posts came from their employees but encouraged us to try the product. Online forums are suspect. You never know who is posting reviews.
  • Browse the online business's list of goods. Reputable companies will often sell many, many goods, typically hundreds or thousands. Unreputable companies, the kind that are a scam, will often only sell a few.
  • Do an internet search for the online business. If the company appears only once or twice in the results, be skeptical. Companies that have been around and are reputable often have many different sites or sites dedicated to them. If you see any sites dedicated to complaining about the business, that certainly should be a big warning, but it shouldn’t be an immediate deal breaker. The customer is not always right, and any business, regardless of how diligently they try to do business, will become the target of angry customers. Don’t immediately discount a business simply based on a single site that makes bold claims. Read about the company on several sites.
  • Before doing business with an online retailer, be sure they have a secured system for payment. If you're sending your credit card number across the Internet, you want to make sure it's safe. Reputable companies will have security in place when it comes to your credit information. Make sure there is some kind of credit security in place.
  • If the business is selling something that is illegal, immediately close the browser. It's likely a scam, or it’s not a reputable company.
  • For greater detail about selecting an online business, please view the videos on this site. I highly recommend all of them.
  • Consult the Better Business Bureau if you're in doubt. Another great site is the Federal Trade Commission.
  • If you're purchasing something on Ebay or Craigslist, never wire money for payment. There are scams you need to know about on Craigslist and Ebay.
  • There's one last thing to remember. If it's too good to be true, run! Scams and hoaxes are often based in greed. Everybody wants something for nothing, a great deal. Because everybody knows this, thieves will often try to entice you by making offers that are too good to be true. Don't fall for the oldest trick in the book. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Don't take a chance on some obscure and questionable site, because it seems to have the best deal. Promising a great deal is one thing. Delivering it is another.

Internet Scams and Hoaxes - Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Powerpoe1 profile image

      Powerpoe1 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the pros and cons of internet shopping. Oftentimes, individuals are really excited about purchasing a new product and do not necessarily read the fine print or research the item. The scammers are using very sophisicated software to link in to your personal information. Voted Up & Rated Useful~

    • profile image

      Shyloh Needs A Financial Advisor 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this information! I am getting ready to hire a financial advisor because my internet spending is getting slightly out of hand!

    • SecurityMetrics profile image

      SecurityMetrics 7 years ago

      Very useful hub, thanks! Consumers lose $100 billion because of internet scams, hoaxes, and phishing--Wow!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)