online shopping scams

Common online shopping scams

The holiday season brings a great opportunity for online shops to gain more profit. While purchasing gifts online is easy and convenient, both customers and retailers are prone to many eCommerce frauds. It is necessary that you are mindful of these following popular online shopping scams and make sure that  you have taken the appropriate precautions to stay safe online.

Discounted gift cards

It is reported that 71% of customers are likely to buy a gift card at least once from online platforms. In fact, more and more people are searching for gift cards for various purposes such as sending them as a gift for their friends. Unfortunately, looking for cheaper gift cards at this time of year may cause them unexpected problems.

Although most discounted gift card deals are provided by retailers, online shoppers should be careful when buying cheap card promotions, which can be used to defraud customers.

Discounted gift card

Shopping account hacks

Fraudsters always try to hack into the cloud-based systems of every retailer with the aim of accessing customers’ payment details. Although there are some methods that allow store owners to monitor how secure a retailer’s payment system is, they still can not entirely discard this problem.

Hence, customers also have to protect their account from hackers by using strong passwords and regularly update them. It’s also a good idea to use a separate email address for online shopping so that your banking and other financial logins are kept separate from your social media and shopping accounts.


Phishing via email is another possible thread to online buyers. As previously mentioned, attackers use a variety of tactics to improve their success rates. To illustrate, by sending out thousands of fraudulent messages, cyber criminals may be able to gain access to sensitive information and large amounts of money.

Credit card fraud

In some situations where credit cards are stolen or lost, they may be used for making illegal transactions. For Example, criminals can use your card by impersonating you or order products and services over the phone or the internet.

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In order to get rid of these issues, retailers in some countries have provided contactless payment services. The modern payment method allows customers to make purchases by using their mobile devices without a PIN or signature. 

Credit card fraud

Interception fraud

Significant amounts of money are exchanged electronically in the construction industry, and unfortunately, cybercriminals take this online shopping scam as an opportunity to strike their profit. In fact, scammers will send emails to customers and ask for finishing their purchases by transferring cash into a bank account. Many payments have been made and rarely can customers receive their money back.

Refund fraud

In 2019, it is reported that among 10 return requests, there might be a fraudulent one. Refund fraud, also known as refund scam, or Whitehouse scam, is a crime that involves returning to store items. Scammers may look for possible mistakes in a merchant’s policies and try to return or exchange ineligible items for money or other goods.

In conclusion

It is undeniable that the Internet has made significant contributions to the eCommerce industry. Yet, there are also an array of online shopping scams which lead to a huge revenue loss in the retail space. By identifying possible fraud above, both retailers and consumers can stay alert and protect themselves from unexpected loss. 

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