As more and more of us are going online to buy or sell products, we have to be aware that there are some basic precautions that we have to take to prevent falling foul of those nasty scammers that are waiting in the shadows to pounce. Over dramatic? Probably... True? For certain.
Here are some basic precautions that I recommend you take:
Avoid giving your credit card details online. The main purpose of these websites is to sell product, the credit card security is either secondary or farmed out to a subcontractor. Unfortunately even the best websites get their customer databases hacked, so always try to use a payment system, like PayPal, where their prime objective is to keep their clients data secure. There are a number of these available now. Amazon Pay is good, but I understand that AliPay may be under protected.
Use a Prepaid SmartCard. These are available from the Post Office or some banks. You can "load" the card with currency in either $ or Shekel amounts. This way you limit your risk to the amount that is on the card in a similar way to gift cards.
When buying from Ebay or Amazon, always check out the vendor or buyer rating. Only buy from highly rated vendors, or it's a gamble.
If you are selling, never ship before you receive payment. This may be obvious, but some clients can pressure you to release early, even send you a bogus bank transfer slip to ship before the full payment has been received. A notification that a payment has been received by your bank is not the same as " payment has been credited to your account". They can still withdraw/cancel the payment until it is in your account.
Use a "blind" account to receive that payment. What do I mean by "blind"? This is a PayPal, PepperPay or other account where your bank details are not revealed to the other side. Be aware that if you reveal your bank account details to strangers you are opening yourself up to a vulnerability and a risk that someone can impersonate you to make withdrawals. PayPal accepts payment on your behalf and will hold it for your future purchase payments. This is cheaper than transferring PayPal credits to your bank account.
If you are shipping to a company, check the shipping address against the address shown on their website. Search the company on Google to find the website as the website address and phone numbers shown on their email may not be the same if they are " faking it".
I hope this information will help prevent you losing any money through online fraud. Please feel free to forward this onto a friend, share on Facebook or refer a friend, and I'll be pleased to answer any questions and receive your feedback by email or WhatsApp.