The dangers of online shopping: what could go wrong?

Dominic Gialdini, Highlander Editor

In this modern age of technology, online shopping is easy to do and allows people to purchase items from the comfort of their own homes. However, there are some downsides that the general public should first be made aware of before deciding to buy items via the Internet.

First and foremost are the possibilities of credit card fraud and of scams.

According to the FBI’s website, in 2010, people lost a total of $485,253,871 as a result of shopping online.
Many people who indulge in online shopping disregard the possibility of credit card fraud.

Sophomore Angelina Castillo stated, “When shopping online, I do worry about identity theft a little, but the risk is worth it because it is so much easier to shop online than to go to the stores.”

Although some people are dismissive about the risk of credit card fraud, it is all too real and it can end very negatively for the card owner. When criminals get access to other people’s credit card numbers, they can run up the credit card bill, at the expense of the card owner.

To prevent credit card fraud, multiple precautions can be taken. The primary way to protect your credit card is by only giving your card number to secure, reputable sites. Major popular websites are usually safe to use.

Sarah Clarke, an English teacher at Carlmont, said, “I generally feel safe [to use my credit card information] if I am using a big website, like Amazon.com. I never give my credit card number to small business websites.”

Those who monitor their credit card accounts often increase their chances of stopping credit card theft in the early stages, before significant issues arise.
Clarke said, “I check my account regularly. With my account, I enabled a setting that causes my phone to recieve a text message whenever my credit card buys anything over $100.”
Being aware of one’s credit card purchases on a daily basis is a wise decision. The higher the level of awareness, the lower the probability that someone will get away with stealing a person’s credit card number.

“My credit card number has been compromised once. This was almost immediately discovered because of the text message I received,” stated Clarke.

In addition to credit card fraud, online scams cause tribulation within the internet shopping community. People may pay for things that they never end up receiving as a result of trusting online sellers.

The FBI’s website suggests that people should research individuals as well as companies in order to determine if they are legitimate. Something as simple as googling the sellers is worth the time.

Another issue, although not nearly as potentially devastating as credit card fraud or scams, is when clothes that are bought and shipped do not fit the buyer properly.

Clothes that are sold online are impossible for online shoppers to try on. As a result, the buyers risk the chance of being delivered clothes that do not even fit them.

Sophomore Danielle Al-Abed said, “I don’t shop online, but if I did, my main concern would be not being able to try on the clothes that I would buy.”

With a similar perspective, Castillo said, ”Online shopping is great because there is always more variety, but I prefer going to the store to try the clothes on for size. With online shopping you aren’t exactly sure how the clothing will fit on you.”

Ultimately, it is up to the buyer to determine whether or not buying online is worth the risks.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email