The rules are fairly simple. Sometimes you actually need to stop and think, a fast talking sales pitch can easily part you or a loved one from their hard earned money. Before you give out that credit card number, go over these three rules.
Rule #1: Never give your credit card number out without research
More and more shady businesses are trying to trick you into entering your credit card number online. The hide the terms and conditions and start charging you every month or put the actual charges in small print off to the side.
As a general rule, any site in the top 500 sites on the web is going to be worth doing business with. No fly by night site trying to steal your money is going to be able to break the top 500. A payment processor in the top 500 isn’t going to stay in business scamming people out of their money. If anyone knows a blatent exception to this rule, I’d like to see it. Sure, there will always be billing issues and disputes with any company, but the large ones try hard to resolve them.
Some payment processors and larger sites (like Clickbank and eBay for example) can get complaints about the items that people sell on their marketplace. That e-book from Bob Snakeoil might be a complete waste of money, but you will have always have some recourse through the payment processor.
How do you check a site rank? Go to Alexa.com and copy and paste the URL for the site you are looking at from your browser. Don’t try to type it in, since you might be a victim of Rule #2 below.
Next, use Google to see what other people say about that business.
Rule #2: Check if the site is real
A classic scam is to send a fake email that looks just like something you would get from a legitimate place you do business with. Banks, credit card companies, Paypal and the like should NEVER ask you for account information through email. The message will contain a link for you to click on, which takes you to something like paypal.secuur.ru. Yeah, see, that’s not Paypal.
Look carefully at the URL. Subdomains are ok (secure.paypal.com), but the thing right in front of the .com should be the site you want, not chase.bank.chaserobber1123,com.
Rule #3: Never give out payment information over the phone
Unless you made the call and know exactly who you are talking to, don’t ever give a caller any payment information. Even if it sounds like the best business opportunity in the WORLD, and it’s a LIMITED TIME OFFER OF A LIFETIME don’t be fooled! Ask for written information to be sent to you that explains all the charges. If they try to send you to a website to pay, refer to RULE #1 above.
Be careful out there!