Online shopping is an incredibly convenient addition to our modern world. For older folks who are looking to buy something quickly without the hassle of going into a brick-and-mortar store, shopping online is fantastic. As senior citizens, it’s not always easy to get around, so shopping online is a great way to save energy and avoid crowds.
However, along with the convenience can also come a certain amount of risks for seniors. Since people from older generations are still getting used to how the Internet works, it’s easy to fall into common scams. To help you steer clear of the dangers of the internet, here are some of the best tips for for avoiding online scams in your retirement years.
Always Verify the Store
Anyone can put up a website and claim to be an online store. It’s not uncommon for dishonest people to post items claiming to be for sale and ask for their credit card information only to not send any goods in return. Make sure that you verify the seller’s information so that you know it’s a real online store.
The name of the company should be clearly listed on the website, and there should be a verified badge at the bottom of the page. You may also want to consider Googling a website if you’ve never heard of it before to see if you can find any reviews on it. A general rule of thumb is to always double-check when in doubt.
Be Wary of Sharing Too Much
Any website that you purchase from will only ask for billing, shipping and payment information. If a website starts asking you for too much information about yourself, then this is a red flag. Anything like your Social Security number or personal details about yourself is a clear indication that you may be dealing with a dishonest vendor.
Read Descriptions Carefully
One of the most common scams that people can get away with is selling an item that is misleading. Rather than relying on the listing title and the photograph alone, it’s always important to read the description carefully. Ultimately, if you try to dispute a transaction due to the item not being true to the photo, but the description clearly listed in fine print what the item was, then you may still be responsible for the charge.
Always Track Your Statements
Once you give out your credit card information to a website, they have your details. Make sure that you check your statements regularly to ensure that there are no unauthorized charges on your card. Dishonest sellers may save your information and use it for fraudulent charges. By carefully tracking your statement, you can avoid being held responsible for charges you never made.