Posted 4 August 2008
The story of the Olympic
families being cheated by ticket touts is a sad lesson on what we
need to watch for when buying goods and services online.
From this story there's some important
lessons we should keep in mind when shopping on the Internet.
Can you trust the seller?
It's very easy to set up a plausible looking
website. One of the comments from a lot of the victims is they trusted
the web site because it "looked professional".
Sadly, professional looking websites are
quite cheap and easy to make. So an impressive site is no guide to reliability.
When you find a site that looks legitimate,
take some time to check it out by doing a web search.
A search on BeijingTickeing.com would have
about this outfit as early as last March.
When you see a great deal, be suspicious. Make sure you check out the
web site or, if it's through a site like eBay, check the seller's credentials
The old saw is that if something seems
too good to be true, it usually isn't.
Use your credit card
Once you're satisfied the deal is genuine,
pay using a credit card. In most circumstances you'll be protected from
Note you are not protected if you use a
debit card. So be careful with the payment methods you use.
We're not great fans of services like PayPal
as we've seen too many problems with those services.
Under no cirumstances should you buy using
direct deposit or cash transfers. Any seller who requires this is dubious
and you should avoid look elsewhere.
Internet's a great place to find deals, but it's also a great opportunity
for scammers. Take some precautions and you should avoid them.