FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported that Americans lost $337 million to non-payment and non-delivery scams. In these scams, buyers pay for products or services online, but never receive them. Conversely, sellers ship goods or provide services, but never receive payment.
Recognize Warning Signs
Products and services advertised atincredibly low prices— significantly lower than competitors.
Sellers that only accept payments by wire transfer, money orders, gift cards, or peer-to-peer payment serviceslike CashApp, Venmo and Zelle.
Vague or non-existent contact detailsor information about returns, exchanges or privacy policies.
Websites withpoor spelling or grammar.
Practice Good Cyber Habits
Be wary about clicking links, especially unsolicited ones you receive via text, social media, or email.
If you receive a message about updating your account information or password, do not assume it is safe. Contact the company directly on a verified number, rather than in the message received, to confirm.
Only enter your payment information on sites witha URL that includes “https,”as those sites are more secure.
Avoid using the same passwordfor every account.
Do Business with Companies You Trust
Do yourresearch, check reviews or ratings and search for complaintson a company before buying.
Verify contact informationon sites to ensure they are legitimate.
Be wary of sellers who claim to be U.S. residents, but say they arecurrently out of the country.
Avoid buyers who request purchases beshipped using certain methods to avoid customs or taxes.
Monitor the shipping processand obtain tracking numbers.
Your Payment Method Matters
Never wire money directly to a seller, because it is unlikely you will receive a refund if there is a dispute.
Only use peer-to-peer payments services with people you know, trust, and have met in-person.
Be wary of sellers who only accept gift cards or pre-paid debit cards. They may never send what you ordered, and you may be unable to be refunded.
If You Have Been Scammed
Contact your financial institution to report that you have been scammed.