A scammer offers something for sale online for a price that is too good to be true, or they trick you into visiting an illegitimate e-commerce website.
Video length: 1 minute, 58 seconds
How it works
Fraudsters can create accounts on legitimate auction sites, such as eBay, or on an online marketplace, like Kijiji. They will advertise their products at very low prices, enticing you to buy them. At the end of the day, if you do get something, it might be of poor quality or a bad imitation of what you expected.
In other instances, fraudsters will lure you into clicking on sponsored links that will direct you to a seemingly genuine website. If you decide to buy from there, you won’t benefit from any of the protections or services that legitimate websites offer.
How to spot it
If a website or offer stands out dramatically from the rest, there’s likely something off.
- Buy from companies or individuals you know by reputation or from past experience.
- Never make a deal outside the auction site.
- Beware of sellers from far away or those who have very few or no reviews.
- Use a credit card when shopping online; many offer protection and may give you a refund.
- Be wary of websites that contain spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
- Read the refund and return policies carefully, including the fine print.
- Ask the supplier questions and confirm service delivery timelines and the total cost.