It’s important to trust the people and businesses you deal with online. Unfortunately, the Internet is the perfect hiding place for scammers and businesses who have no interest in customer protection.

Despite this problem, there are many ways to ensure that you don’t become the latest online victim of a scam and continue to benefit from the convenience and power of the internet.

Use reliable and legitimate payment processors

How an online business processes customer payments can be an indication of how trustworthy it is. Payment processors like PayPal, Stripe and other reputable systems protect users if things go wrong. Avoid businesses or individuals who ask you to pay by sending cash or through wire transfers.

Warranties and guarantees

Problems can occur after you purchase a product or service online.  A business that includes a guarantee has confidence in what it is offering its customers. A good example of this is essay writing company StudyBay. StudyBay offer their clients a 20 day warranty period to ensure their purchased essay has no errors.

Get recommendations from other customers

The internet records information about almost every business online. This includes reviews and recommendations made by customers of most online stores and service providers.

Blogs, forums and social media websites are the perfect places to research other people’s buying experiences so this increases the likely hood of buying from reputable online businesses.

Related: Your Online Data Could Be At Risk: 3 Ways To Protect Yourself

Don’t be too willing To give up personal information

Identity theft is a major concern for online users. It’s a very difficult problem to solve because you may not realize your personal details are being used for illegal purposes until it’s too late.

Always be cautious about what information you share and publish online. If you create an account with a store or supplier, make sure the business is a reputable business that will protect these details and store them safely.

Don’t engage with people and businesses you don’t know or trust

It’s very easy for a company or individual to hide their true identity online. You’re probably familiar with the many junk emails that are sent from total strangers every day. The same is true on social media websites where you may be approached by people who eventually want you to buy their products. Only deal with people you know or have been recommended by individuals you trust.

Make sure there are no hidden fees

Always read the small print. Some less than honest online businesses include fees you might not be aware of such as shipping costs and handling fees.

Make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for before completing any online purchase. For example, Amazon provides free shipping on many of their products which can save you a lot of money.

Most consumers believe they will never get scammed online. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life for many people and can have serious consequences for those involved. To avoid this issue, keep in mind the points mentions above so that you don’t become the latest victim.

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