I originally posted this in my Facebook group, but I want to share it here so that it can help more people watch out for purchasing scams. Since the pandemic started the scammers and hackers are running rampant! I have had to have 2 cards replaced myself in the past few months!
The post is worded about buying AeroGardens, but it certainly applies to all things! With the price of everything going up due to the pandemic, inflation, the supply chain and more, the price of most of our beloved gardening products and supplies have skyrocketed as well.
Over 25 years of experience in IT, network administration, and security is why I get antsy when I see some posts about my Facebook friends falling for scams.
Folks, please be careful when shopping online. It does not matter what you are shopping for… AeroGardens, office supplies, clothes, or whatever.
Be very wary of deals that look too good to be true. There have been a lot of sites popping up with “AeroGardens” at prices that are too good to pass up. Be suspicious. IF IT LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS!
Be Wary of Too Prices Too Good to be True
Both Amazon and Walmart allow 3rd party sellers to list items. If you see an AeroGarden going for a super low price from a 3rd party seller, chances are it is a scam. You may receive nothing, or you may receive an item that is not what you ordered. Unfortunately, they do not do a good job of policing the 3rd party listings to be sure they are legit. I know of 2 people that have made purchases recently that were never delivered. Luckily, they were able to get their money back. But, if purchasing from a 3rd party, check the return policy on that particular listing, see how long shipping takes. And if possible by items sold directly by Amazon or Walmart.
Check the History of the Website
As for shopping websites, if you have not heard of the site, be suspicious. Here is one post that came across my group recently.
One of the first things to check is when the site was created. It's not too often anymore that a brand new site pops up and immediately starts selling popular appliances.
For example… Waynerastore. You can see by this screenshot that the site was just created in 12/21. That is a warning sign. Go to whois.com and type in the domain of the site. Look at the creation date and location.
Here is another one…
The price looks great, right? But, this site is not legit. This site was just created last month! Run away, fun far away.
You may see sites like this pop up on Facebook ads. In most cases… just don't do it. LOL! It's sad that FB lets scam ads run, but they do. If you have never heard of the site, do a search for “(site name) reviews”. Read them. If there are absolutely no reviews, that is another read flag.
Buy From Only Reputable Sites
If you do see something that you like on a Facebook ad or similar, do a Google search and see if you can find the item on a website that you do recognize. I do this when I see cute clothes on Facebook ads.
Be wary of Marketplace, Mercari, and OfferUp if the seller shows ANY red flags. Are they hard to reach? Keep changing the meet up time? Won't show you if the unit works? Drop out of the deal. And do not pay until you have proof. It's best to stick to local pickups only, so that you can inspect the unit for any signs of damage.
(True Story), you are not going to get a 6 x 8 polycarbonate greenhouse shipped for $28. READ ALL OF THE FINE PRINT AND DESCRIPTION IN FULL. These people received gloves thinking they were getting a greenhouse. The listing was very misleading for those that did not read in full.
Shop With PayPal or a Credit Card
When buying anything online you want to pay with something that can be tracked, protected, and refunded if possible. If PayPal is an option, always use Paypal. If red flags go up and you cannot cancel your order you can easily open a case with PayPal right in your account. They will refund you in times of trouble. You can get the same protection from most major credit cards, but there might be a few more hoops to jump through to get the ball rolling.
Never pay by Cashapp, Zelle, etc. if the seller insists that you pay in some other non-standard way, back out of the deal.
Protect Your Computer
Also, make sure your virus and malware protection are up to date…. this goes for PCs and Macs! You can download great free virus protection, or you can sometimes get a free subscription to a professional plan from your ISP.
I hope these tips will give you an idea of what to look out for. Recovering from a purchasing scams can be a pain.
Thank With Google
I truly appreciate you checking out my content! I hope it helps. And, if you know me, you know that I am always happy to support content creators, especially since I am one myself! There are many ways to thank your favorite content creators. We all appreciate it if you throw money! 😀
No, but seriously… Google realizes that sometimes you want to show your appreciation in a unique way. So, I’m happy to be one Google's paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program. Thank with Google is a new experimental feature that allows you to show your appreciation by purchasing a virtual sticker.
You will notice a new widget in my sidebar over there —-> Just click the “Thank the creator” button to get started. There are also stickers at the top and bottom of every blog post. You can send free stickers, or choose to make a donation ranging from $1.00 to $200.00. Paid proceeds go directly to the creator, and help us bring you more content!
No matter what you choose, I appreciate your support and I am just happy that you stopped by! 🙂
Happy SAFE shopping!