With a whopping $61 billion in sales alone in 2012, Amazon has become one of the biggest online marketplaces for people all around the globe. The online shopping juggernaut sells practically every product on the planet, and many people wonder how truly safe the website is.
Luckily, the huge revenue stream of Amazon allows it to hire a team of exceptional high-tech employees that keep finding ways to prevent customers from falling victim to online fraud.
So, I can shop with a quiet mind, right?
Well, despite the walls and walls of security and protection Amazon builds to protect its customer base, the biggest problem remains a lack of knowledge on the shoppers' end with keeping their credit card information safe.
In order to help customers shop for products in a safe way, Amazon has a detailed Safe Online Shopping page that helps them know how to avoid scams. We can confidently say that jut like other policy agreements and check boxes, no one actually reads this important page that is packed with fullproof tips on how to be safe on Amazon.
If you are one of the website's customers or wondering whether or not you should buy a certain product from Amazon, this is what you should do:
1. Avoid fishy third-party sellers
Third party sellers that ask you to do weird things, like pay them using a link outside of Amazon, or contact them via mail to complete the purchase, are usually scammers. You should always purchase products on Amazon marketplace and not be duped by third-party sellers who are trying to get their hands on you credit card info.
2. Don't fall for huge discounts
While it's tempting to buy a washing machine for $99.99 or a drone for only 20 bucks, you should steer clear from big sales. If a seller tries to get you to buy a product with a grossly small price tag, they are likely to be scammers who just want to know your credit card info. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
3. Read buyer reviews
If you want to make sure a certain vendor on Amazon is legitimate, dedicate of few minutes to read buyers' feedback about him, his products, delivery service, etc. It might be time consuming to do it, but it will take far less time than chasing around someone who stole your credit card information or trying to salvage your finances after you've been scammed.
4. Clear cookies from your computer
Your computer and Amazon are both learning machines that get to know your preferences down to a T, and while that can make your life easier, it's also a hacker's paradise. After shopping on Amazon a few times and using keywords, your computer and the website will store 'cookies' – the short terms you used, in order to "learn" you. You should make sure to clear cookies from your computer by using the settings on it. You should also clear your browsing history from time to time to make sure that both your personal and credit card information aren't stored.
Amazon is definitely one the safest online shopping websites today, but you have to be conscious and responsible when using it. Reading the Safe Online Shopping tips on the website in addition to using the advice given here will help you buy all the stuff you need without worrying that someone is scamming you.