4 Ways to Beat Online Scams
Tis the Season to be Cautious
Did you get a bargain from the recent Black Friday sales? Or did your purchase not quite live up to its description? Imagine if a national survey was conducted to track customer satisfaction from online purchases made during peak sales times. How many of us would rate our satisfaction as ‘High’, versus ‘OK’, ‘Disappointed’, ‘Meh’ or worse, ‘I Got Scammed!’?
Why so Many (Tech) Scams?
In large part it comes down to us, the buyers. Whilst no one wants to be scammed big sales events generate elements perfect for scammers to abuse, such as:
- FOMO (yep, FOMO – ‘fear of missing out’ is a thing!)
- “Just this once…”
- Sense of urgency (time limits)
Big sales events can all too easily diminish our alertness against being scammed. We get dazzled by SALE signs and promises of unbelievable bargains. Sadly, the growth in online sales has dramatically increased our risk of getting scammed.
Talk to Your Managed Service Provider (MSP)
When considering buying technology for your business, if you read or hear of a deal that seems too good to be true, take a moment to ring your MSP to tap into their technical expertise to evaluate the offer. For example, itro clients can ring our Service Desk to get the reassurance that they’ve found a great business deal that can’t be beat, or if an ad is blatantly misleading, or we can point out additional options that suit their existing systems and devices. For example, you may find a product at a great price – but is it compatible with the office systems or apps you already use?
How to Safely Buy a Device Online
One of your best defenses against being scammed is to take your time and do a little research. Firstly, is the seller known, and reputable? If something sounds ‘too good to be true’, think twice before you click on a ‘BUY NOW’ link. And always check the pathing of a link before you click on it. Simply hover your cursor over the link and the URL pathing (address) should pop up. If the pathing looks odd, or is incomplete, don’t click on it!
For more tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during holiday periods, check out the Australian Government’s website, http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/onlineshopping.
Beware Regional Restrictions
One aspect to be careful when buying a device online is making comparisons between local and overseas models. Manufacturers often sell devices with unique regional or country model numbers and specifications, which can make it difficult for you to accurately compare models from different regions.
Warranties can also be geographically restricted. Before you buy a product online from overseas, make sure it includes a valid warranty for Australia!
itro Tip to Stay ‘SAFE’ Online
This simple trip can save you from falling prey to online scammers:
If you see an ad promoting a device that sounds amazing, but you’ve never heard of the make or model before, Google it. See if you can find the same device or product online from different retailers. If you can’t, then it’s highly likely the product or seller is not legitimate or pushing outdated stock. Give it a miss!