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Avoid online shopping scams: Buying stuff online? Read reviews with a critical eye. #Scam Free Summer. Graphic of shopping bags, shopping cart, and computer screen with a protruding storefront awning and  squares with a shopping  "symbols" (shopping cart, percentage sign, truck,  wrapped gift, shopping bag)

Ahh, summer. Ten sweet yet short weeks to enjoy some of your favorite traditions. Maybe it’s sipping an ice cold drink on the porch, spending a weekend at the beach, or cooling off with the kids at the pool. Now that you think about it, you might decide to treat yourself to a new porch swing or a new beach umbrella. Or suddenly realize that you need to buy more goggles because the kids lost theirs…again. Before you start filling up your online shopping cart, we’ve got some tips you’ll want to check out (no pun intended!).

Do some comparison-shopping. Before you buy online, use the power of the internet to compare prices on different websites. We’ve got tips about using comparison-shopping sites.

Think critically about online reviews. Reading other people’s opinions about a product can help you make a decision. But some reviews are downright fake or not completely honest. You may not know when a reviewer got something — like a free product — in exchange for the review. Learn more about how to evaluate online reviews.

Pay attention to the details. Before you buy something online, know when it’ll ship and what to do if you want to return it. Read up on delivery, return, and refund policies.

Pay with a credit card if you can. That way, if you get billed twice for the same item, or you get billed for something you never got, you can dispute it. Learn more about the benefits of paying with a credit card.

Find out what personal information shopping apps collect. Shopping apps might give you exclusive deals or rewards points. But they might also take your personal information, like your name, phone number, and email. And they might use your device’s location. Here’s what to know if you’re using a shopping app.

If you spot this or any other scam, report it to the FTC at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

June 18, 2021
I really like going to this site because it always has something I need to learn, and tips that I can always use.
June 20, 2021
thanks for sharing
I feel vulnerable
June 25, 2021
I got hacked somehow they have all my info they said sent me my social security # and everything they said they had my ID but don’t know For sure about that don’t really know But they got my Credit card Info my name etc hopefully I get all my money back eBay said they had to work with the bank to get money back idk but this is all a mess I’ve spent all day changing passwords and trying to start somewhere I won’t be shopping online for a long long while I don’t trust it now … other than that don’t know if my phone is hacked or my emails or my account to that I had purchased items previously hundreds of times I made two purchases last night and then I woke up this morning and about 1:15 pm I got a text saying I ordered a bunch of items expensive items .. amd then I got a phone call from whoever this man was and he texted threatening messages like don’t mess with him and he has all my Personal information etc and I don’t know what to do from here my bank said that I didn’t need to call the police but I think I should go To police department and at least make a report etc and I got most of my money back Except 144.19 so far I def hope they will refund that back to I have nothing and I am stifling right now .. I don’t understand why or how this happened I feel like it was the man I ordered From Mercari that did this ? Bc this is too weird it’s where it all started ? Does anyone have any advice should I change my phone number ? My Emails won’t come up either he went in and changed all the information on those accounts As well
June 29, 2021
I always check this site. Thank you for this scam update. We are battling with a company out of China which we paid thru PayPal. Didn't receive the product but are being told USPS put a 45# generator in our 5" x 6" mailbox or left it there!