Beware of online scams: 10 tips not to lose money

Scams run in emails, on online sales platforms and even on social networks. Here's how to recognize them and protect yourself

As some recent research suggests, e-commerce in Italy is growing. A positive fact, no doubt about it. Buying on the Internet, however, exposes us, if we are not careful, to numerous dangers. The number one threat is called scam and on the Net, unfortunately, circulate really many.

The imagination of those who stage these deceptions knows no limits and tools. The cheats run in the emails, we speak in this case of phishing, on the online sales platforms, some even famous, and even on social networks. The goal of these cyber scams is to hoard personal data and, therefore, extort money through deception. And although the techniques used by fraudsters are always the same, the number of users who fall into the traps of hackers continues to remain very high. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to protect oneself from the scammers, following some simple advices.

The advices to recognize the scams

First of all, it is always good to check if the website is safe: normally the "serious" platforms use the HTTPS protocol, which ensures that the transmission of data (like the credit card) is not intercepted.

A clue that should make us suspicious - and not a little - is if a person sends us an email proposing an advantageous deal. Don't send personal documents, such as ID card and credit card details, to people who have contacted you by email.

Don't open links in emails from unknown sources, you may be redirected to scam sites.

It is also important to be wary of sellers who demand alternative forms of payment to those provided by the online store in which the ad has been published.

Beware of online sales platforms. They are not all the same. Before finalizing a purchase make sure that the site is reliable. Do a research on the net, compare yourself with the experiences of other users, read the comments.

Use the official sites of the product you are going to buy: you will avoid receiving counterfeit goods at home.

If you have chosen one of those platforms that host the ads of many private individuals, it is better not to pay by credit card, but it is preferable to use cash on delivery.

We are almost in summer, open your eyes. Here too: it is good to make reservations through reliable sites. Be wary, for example, of those who propose an attractive offer in one of the most exclusive seaside resorts in August.

And above all, do not use a normal credit card for your online purchases. Use one of those prepaid cards and leave us only the money needed to complete the purchase. In case of a scam, you'll limit the damage.