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Online Shopping Scam

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Online shopping scam – victim lost $160
Very clever website advertising cheap BBQs. Payment was via credit card with a 2.99% fee, or direct transfer with a 5% discount. Then we received an email saying that due to logistic emails our order was cancelled and being refunded. Not surprisingly, the money has not been refunded. Very clever approach. The first time I have ever been scammed.

What were some signs that this was a scam?
- Very cheap prices from a very new website or seller were the first giveaways that this was a scam.
- The website encouraged the buyer to pay via direct bank transfer by offering a discount for this payment method, and charged a higher fee for credit card payment.

What are some things the buyer could have done to have avoided the scam?
- The buyer could have done some research on the seller and checked independent reviews from other consumers. If it’s a scam, often others would have also come across it and there may be reviews online.
- The buyer could have used a secure payment method such as credit card or PayPal. The biggest tip-off that it’s a scam is the payment method, scammers sometimes steer you to pay using unusual methods such as money order, pre-loaded money card, or wire transfer. If you make a payment this way to a scammer, you’re highly unlikely to see that money again.

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