The internet has caused a sensational boom in the business world by allowing individuals and businesses to conduct online trading with customers all over the world. The most exciting aspect of doing online trading is that it can be done from the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, just as in real life, unscrupulous minds have soured the fun for everyone by engaging in the criminal activities of internet fraud and theft of sensitive financial information of customers. Doing online business seems like a daunting prospect to the uninitiated who has little or no knowledge of the basics of secure trading. However, things are not as grim as they might seem. It is very easy to protect ourselves from internet fraud by taking care to follow certain precautions when doing business online. One of the first things to do before going ahead with a trade deal on the internet is to perform a background search on the business you will be dealing with. Such information can be gleaned from the various credit agencies and trade institutes. If still in doubt, you can also seek out information from the chambers of commerce.
It’s always an excellent idea to ask as many questions as possible. Legitimate traders will be quite eager to answer all your queries pertaining to their business and will even provide references on demand. Since appearances can be very deceptive, don’t be fooled by a really attractive website into believing that the company is honest. Be especially wary if the company provides only a fax number and an email with no further contact information. Although scammers are found everywhere, be especially suspicious of companies based in third world countries. Promises that seem too good to be true are usually a sign that the company is very interested in getting their hands on your money. Only go through with the deal after carefully verifying such a company’s authenticity from third parties. Scammers usually try to entice buyers by posting items in great demand at ridiculously low prices.
Buyers should request a sample to judge the quality of the product and ensure that it meets their needs. Sellers shouldn’t send samples to unknown buyers without asking for a small fee. If a buyer requests to complete the transaction using multiple credit card numbers, it’s usually a sure sign that the numbers are stolen. If you suspect that you have become a victim of fraud, try contacting your trading partner through telephone to resolve the situation. Most traders are honest and may inadvertently have given you the wrong information due to language and cultural differences. Beware of traders who want to rush the trade. Legitimate traders are usually very patient and can wait a long time before the deal is finalized. You can use this time to verify the true identity of the trader and ask around to see if anyone has had bad experiences in dealing with this particular trader. If you get defrauded even after following all the aforementioned tips of secure trading, it is best to notify the relevant law enforcement authorities and hope that justice is served.