You’re about to order a product online. You add it to your cart, fill in your shipping information… and then you see the fine print. “Processing and handling: $4.99.” “Shipping and handling: $7.99.” “Estimated total: $21.97.” Wait, what? You were just about to click “submit” on your purchase, but now you’re second-guessing everything. Is this a scam? A hidden fee? What’s going on? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to avoid getting scammed by unscrupulous businesses who try to tack on hidden fees. We’ll also give you some tips on what to look for when you’re shopping online, so that you can be sure you’re getting what you expect.
What is the difference between a scam and a con?
The terms “scam” and “con” are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. A scam is a fraudulent scheme designed to cheat people out of their money, while a con is a dishonest plan or course of action used to achieve a goal.
For example, someone might set up a fake online store and use it to scam people out of their credit card information. Or, they might pose as a charity collecting donations, when in reality they are keeping the money for themselves.
On the other hand, let’s say you want to buy a new car but don’t have the cash upfront. You might convince the dealership to let you take the car home with the promise that you’ll make monthly payments – this is called an “installment plan.” The dealership knows that you’re not going to be able to pay off the entire amount owed, so they’ll likely charge you higher interest rates. This is an example of a con because you’re not being honest about your ability to pay back what you owe.
The psychology behind why people fall for scams
When you’re shopping online, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and make a purchase without really thinking about it. This is especially true if you’re buying something that’s on sale or seems like a good deal. Unfortunately, this can also lead to people falling for scams.
There are a few psychological reasons why people fall for scams. First, we tend to trust what we see more than what we hear. So if an ad or website looks legitimate, we’re more likely to believe it is. Second, we’re often swayed by authority figures. If someone seems like they know what they’re talking about, we’re more likely to trust them. Finally, we’re susceptible to peer pressure. If our friends or family are doing something, we’re more likely to do it as well.
Keep these psychological factors in mind next time you’re shopping online. And if you’re ever unsure about a purchase, take a step back and think about it before you hand over your hard-earned money.
How to spot a scam
It’s easier than ever to get scammed online. With so many businesses now operating solely through the internet, it can be hard to know who you can trust.
Here are some tips to help you spot a scam:
- Be wary of businesses that don’t have a physical address or contact information listed on their website.
- Look for reviews of the business online, and see if there are any complaints about them.
- Beware of businesses that require you to pay upfront for services or products, without any guarantee of delivery.
- Do your research before giving any personal information to a company. Make sure they are legitimate by checking with the Better Business Bureau or other similar organizations.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be less likely to get scammed when shopping online.
What to do if you think you’re being scammed
If you think you’re being scammed, the best thing to do is to stop communicating with the person trying to scam you. If you’re talking to someone online, block them and report them to the platform you’re using. If you’re talking to someone in person, walk away and find someone else to talk to.
It’s also important to do some research before you hand over any money. If you’re thinking about buying something from someone you don’t know, look up reviews of the product or service first. Make sure other people have had good experiences with it before you hand over your hard-earned cash.
Finally, trust your gut. If something feels too good to be true, it probably is. If you have a bad feeling about someone or something, don’t ignore it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Con artists are everywhere, and they’re always looking for new ways to trick people out of their hard-earned money. But if you know what to look for, it’s easy to spot a con artist before they have a chance to take advantage of you. The next time someone tries to sell you something, make sure you know what you’re ordering before you hand over your cash.