The following chapters offer a small introduction to eCommerce scams and how these work. Please read through this section carefully and see if any applies to your situation.
ECommerce has seen massive growth over the past year, due to its increased convenience and product availability. Users can purchase items from online stores, platforms, or marketplaces, usually at a better price than brick-and-mortar retail.
Unfortunately, the world of eCommerce has a fair share of fake product listings and scammy online stores. There are some merchants that prey on inexperienced users, attempting to get paid without ever delivering the product they supposedly sell. These types of scams are generally hard to spot, but you can notice them through the following red flags:
- An item is extremely cheap compared to the average market price.
- The domain of the website or the account of a platform’s user is only recently been registered.
- Merchants request a pre-payment in Bitcoin or another type of cryptocurrency.
How to spot and avoid eCommerce scams
- Always purchase from reputable marketplaces and pay using payment widgets, like BitPay. If the online platform requests for direct BTC payments (by listing its wallet address or a QR code) there is a high probability that you have either fallen victim to a scam.
- Make sure that there’s a possibility to leave an honest review on a trusted platform and read other reviews beforehand.
- Make sure you receive a receipt for your prepayment. This should include the contact information of the business you are dealing with.
- Check the platform’s responsiveness through email and/or phone. If communication is not possible it’s best to stay away.