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How To Protect Yourself From Online Scams

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Have you noticed there are ads everywhere trying to get you to buy the latest thing from this website or that online only store? Before you hand over your credit card information or click that shiny “BUY” button, here are five questions you should ask yourself.


Have I Heard of This Business?



There are a lot of businesses out there that you've probably never heard of. Before you go to the website and start browsing around for that gift or treat for yourself, search online and check if there are any reviews out there. Also try Googling the name of the website and the word “scam” together to see what you get. Just because the page looks professional, doesn't mean it is.



Is There A “Free” Offer?



Careful. This is how a lot of scams start. They reel you in with the “free” offer, but you usually have to buy something to get it, and that means handing over your credit card number. A lot of legitimate companies do the same thing, but it should raise a red flag.



Is The Price Unbelievably Low?



If the company is offering you a 42″ flat screen TV for $99 when you know in reality the price is closer to $1400, don't buy it. If you feel like you're getting too good of a deal, be wary. Most scams look too good to be true because they are.



Is The Company Asking For Personal Information Via Email?



You should NEVER provide personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers or social security numbers through your email. No bank or legitimate business will ever ask you for this information via email ever.



Do They Accept Credit Cards?



Almost all legitimate companies accept credit cards now especially online retailers. If they ask you to pay with cash or money order only, it's likely a scam.


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