Online shopping

Exercising caution when shopping online

The convenience of online shopping has made buying and selling on the internet increasingly appealing. It is important to exercise caution when sharing personal and financial information online. You need to know who you are providing your information to and be confident that they will treat it securely and respectfully.

There are simple tips you can follow when buying and selling online.

Buying online:

  • do your research and shop around,
  • check quality, warranty, return/refund and complaints policies,
  • check the buying and selling tips on the sites you are using,
  • keep your personal details private and secure,
  • always use a secure payment method,
  • never send bank or credit card details in an email,
  • never send wire transfers to anyone you don’t know and trust, and
  • if you think you’ve been scammed, contact your financial institution and selling platform and report it to the ACORN.

Selling online:

  • install security software from a verified provider and set it to update automatically,
  • offer clear terms and conditions,
  • always use and offer a secure payment method,
  • avoid bank transfers and direct debits,
  • when using a selling platform, make sure it is trusted and reliable,
  • beware of scams, including by fake suppliers and customers, and
  • independently confirm that payment has been made before supplying goods.

If you have been affected by an online trading scam, or if you are concerned about something that appears on an online trading website you should report it to the relevant site (for example, eBay or Gumtree). Many online auction sites have established reporting procedures to deal with trading scams. If you are not satisfied with their response, you should report the scam to the ACORN.