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The Geyser

How to avoid being an online scam victim

Online shopping has become more and more prominent within the younger generation. With easier access to the internet and money to spare, the number of online shoppers has increased tremendously from a low estimate of 20% to a high 68% (Chevalier, 2021).
Along with more online shoppers comes the higher possibility of encountering scams. Scams used to be a concern for the elderly. Senior citizens paid less attention to the website than they did to the “product” they saw. Now scams have become more common within the younger generation of high schoolers and college students. Some of Park High School’s students have encountered a few scams of their own.
Tess Goosey, junior at Park High, tried buying a backpack from an online store she believed was “an honest website… it had no ads or weird features.” She only later realized the online store was a scam when she received an email saying it had been delivered to the address she entered, but it never actually arrived. Tess said she was “a bit upset” because she really “liked the backpack and its features.” But she is fully aware it won’t be coming anytime soon.
Senior Veronica Turck has also experienced a similar occurrence. She, on the other hand, is not yet aware if she was scammed or not. Veronica bought some clothing items on a website that she also thought was “safe and secure.” But as time passed, Veronica grew skeptical of the website. They kept sending her more and more “deals” that seemed too good to be true. She currently waits for her package to arrive in hopes that the website wasn’t a scam.
Many other students at Park High have reported similar stories: purchasing online, not getting their package even after months of waiting, or getting huge deals from websites they only looked over.
Overall it’s important to research websites and online stores even if they seem reliable. Checking reviews, sales, and any information found on the website is highly recommended. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers a weekly report of how to identify scams before it is too late. An easy way to spot scams are reviews: many businesses can easily hire people to write fake reviews for their website. Some notes from the BBB are to pay attention to good grammar, generic reviews stating similar things to other reviews, and pictures in reviews that look set-up.
Along with identifying a scam, protection from one is just as important. A high recommendation from many protective services, including the BBB, is to contact your local government agency. Going straight to the source makes it more likely for the scammer to be targeted directly and faster.
And even prior to that, avoiding the button is better. Don’t click on deals no matter how good they are. Scammers commonly use language to get you to buy into their deals such as “limited time only” or “specifically for you.” If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.


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