December may mark the most lucrative month for online retailers as web users hit the net in search of Christmas presents at a bargain price but it's by no means the end of it. In a still struggling economy, with everyone searching for value, consumers will encounter technology deals that might seem too good to be true. So, how can you avoid being taken advantage of? Here's five simple tips that will ensure you stay safe when shopping online.
3. Understand your credit cards
Online shoppers should ensure they understand their credit cards. Vitaly Borker and other merchants like him, were able to take advantage of customers because of the rules set up by the credit cards those customers use.
With credit card purchases being the dominant form of online shopping, it's vital that consumers know the policies of the cards they use and what recourse they have should those policies be abused.
4. Other forms of payment
Consumers would also be wise to investigate other forms of payment, such as PayPal. While alternative methods may not offer the convenience of credit cards, they may provide more security against potential scams and those who know how to abuse the system.
5. Be cautious
Regardless of where and when you shop online, this tip always applies. The internet can be a dangerous place at the best of times. During the often stressful and expensive festive season the dangers increase exponentially.
Be wary every time you shop online and help to make sure this time remains a time of giving, and not of taking.
When you have made your purchase, it's important to know your rights. For the full lowdown on your consumer rights, read our piece: 'how to shop safely online'. And if the worst happens, visit PC Advisor's Consumerwatch Forum for expert consumer support.
David A Milman is founder and CEO of Rescuecom.
See also: 9 alternatives to Paypal
- Keeping money and personal details secure
- Understand your credit cards