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Tips for Avoiding Internet Based Scams

By Guy Verona - Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanks to the internet it’s now easier than it has ever been to search through the inventory of multiple retailers when trying to find the best price for the things you want to buy. Unfortunately when shopping online it isn’t always easy to know who to trust. There are many fraudulent sites on the net that will happily take your money and run, with some being nothing more than fronts for criminals that are trying to gather peoples personal information so they can steal their identities.

Online Scams

To stay safe when buying goods online, always make sure to thoroughly investigate the site you are buying from, to make sure they represent a legitimate business. Some of the ways you can do that are outlined below:


One of the best ways to find out what people really think about things, be it a specific product or website, is to see what’s being said about the brand on various forums.

There are no super forum sites that cover every imaginable subject under the sun, but a simple Google search of the brand you want to research, refined into the discussions segment of the search results (accessible on the left hand side of the Google results page), should provide you with various forum discussions relating to the subject at hand.

It is worth remembering that people are far more likely to visit forums to complain about something than they are to praise it, so when using forums to conduct research try to visit at least four or five different threads (and ideally multiple forums), as it is important to try and get an accurate view of the overall situation.

Scam Report Sites

In an age where people communicate non-stop it only makes sense that some unhappy consumers would fight back against the scammers by creating sites dedicated to bringing their dark practices out into the light. The most active of which are well worth spending some time becoming familiar with:

Scam is a forum dedicated to letting people know about the different types of scams being used in both the on and off line worlds. It has a large active user-base who are more than happy to give their opinions on whether or not a deal is too good to be true.

ScamBusters is a website dedicated to recording information about all the different scams being employed around the world, both on and offline. They don’t name companies in particular, but they do provide detailed examples of the type of scams going on. ScamBusters believe that profiling the kind of deception taking place is more useful than simply outing companies who can change their names at a moments notice. Which is something I personally agree with (though I have no trouble naming and shaming companies as well)

Finally 419eater is forum almost entirely dedicated to online scams. Made up of people who like to scam-bait so as to waste scammers time and energy, it can be an invaluable tool for learning about the latest scams (it’s also a great way to kill time when bored).

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