On average, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center gets 25,000 letters about online scams every month. So to help make sure it doesn't happen to you, here are five important questions you should ask yourself before you buy anything online.
#1.) Have You Heard of the Business? There are lots of businesses you've never heard of, but if you search online and can't find any reviews . . . good or bad . . . it might be a scam. You should also just try Googling the name of the website and the word "scam" together, and see what results you get. Just because a website looks professional doesn't mean it is.
#2.) Are They Offering Something for Free? A lot of scams start with a "free" offer, but then you have to buy something else to get it. Some real companies do the same thing too, but it should at least make you suspicious.
#3.) Is the Price Unbelievably Low? If you feel like you're getting TOO good of a deal, be careful. Most scams look too good to be true because they are.
#4.) Do They Ask for Personal Information by Email? You should NEVER send credit card information, passwords, or social security numbers over email. And no legitimate business would ask you to.
#5.) Do They Accept Credit Cards? This is probably the most important one. Almost all credible businesses accept credit cards now especially if they're based online. So if they say you can only pay with cash or by money order, it's almost definitely a scam.