8 tips to avoid scams online and in stores

This Wednesday, January 11 marks the start of the winter sales. But in this shopping spree, beware of the tricks and scams of certain brands and certain sites that want you to spend more than you should.

As every year, the year begins with one of the biggest rituals of our consumer society: winter sales. An opportunity to do good business while having fun online or in store. But be careful, some dealers and some brands are used to practicing some tricks to make you spend more than you should, and some sites and resellers offer very attractive offers that are scams. Overview of pitfalls to avoid.

Inflated base prices

One of the most common tricks practiced by stores is to increase, on the label, the base price of the product to deceive the customer into believing that the reduction of the product is greater than it is. This practice is especially prevalent in more expensive products such as high-tech products. Do not hesitate to go online to see the real price of the product.

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Beware of mixed sale and non-sale items

Sale and non-sale items are often mixed together so that the customer thinks that all the items on sale are also on sale, so pay attention to the labels. If you become aware of fraud at checkout, please notify store staff and remind them that the law requires that sale and non-sale items must be presented separately.

Remove the calculator to avoid “false” reductions

Discounts shown on labels are sometimes misleading. If you buy a sofa for 800 euros on sale at 30%, its price should be 560 euros, but some stores have the annoying habit of “rounding up to 570 or 575 euros. Some only show the base price and the percentage reduction, and not the new price, to trick unwary customers.It’s up to you to get the calculator off the shelves to avoid getting ripped off.

Check if the item has any defects

Some brands like to discount items they can’t sell due to minor defects and take advantage of this to lower prices and sell what doesn’t sell. In addition, many retailers do not take back or exchange sale items, as they are not required to do so by law. So make sure your item is of good quality before you go to checkout.

Go to sites you know

Buy from sites you know or check out. First, check that you are not on a fraudulent copy of an official site. Be careful, only one character can sometimes change compared to the official site. If you are on a site that you do not recognize, check that it has not been created for this occasion and search for its name in a search engine to consult the opinions of Internet users.

Beware of overly generous offers

“When an offer is too good to be true, you have to ask questions,” warns Dominique Lapprand, founder of the Association to Combat Illegal Trade (ALCCI). Sales attract buyers with their attractive prices, but beware of overly generous offers when compared to other sites. If the promotion is much more interesting than anywhere else, be extra vigilant by doing a few checks before you buy. For example, check the seller’s reputation.

Don’t confuse speed with haste

Sales last 4 weeks, so don’t rush. Even pressured by a pseudo online retailer offering the deal of the century that supposedly ends soon, don’t mindlessly hand out your credit card number, but take the time to do a few checks.

Beware of phishing

Phishing is a very common fraudulent technique. When you receive an offer by SMS or email, carefully check the sending addresses by checking the characters one by one. Don’t click on links or open attachments from unknown senders, because a single click can give your login codes, personal data and banking details to hackers.

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