In my articles I talk a lot about relationships, whether it be with other people, or most importantly yourself. To that end, I wish to discuss a very important relationship. The relationship between you and consumer protection and fraud. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but trust me, it is.
It is a very big deal. It happened to me once and it really woke me up to what can happen in the real world. People you may not even know or think to suspect can put one over on you, thus placing you in the position of being a victim.
Consumer fraud and protection: Don’t be a victim
Here are some things to make yourself aware of when doing something online.
Ordering online: Avoid doing anything international.
It doesn’t matter if you are ordering something for your dorm room or a book for class, if you don’t trust the shipping address, than don’t do it. If you do go through with it, read the fine print and verify to make sure that everything from their end is authentic. Same goes for the email address. If the email address looks fishy and it is not able to be verified, than rethink the item that you want to order. If you are ordering something through any online site and using a third party sender, make sure the person is someone that you have used before and you trust completely.
I ordered something online through Ebay from a third party. I got the order processed and the money was pushed through. Only the person got the money and I never say the merchandise. That was just one example of something I went through in the past. So be forewarned about this. Make sure that the person has every intention of sending you the merchandise. So read the fine print and before you agree to the transaction, make sure you know what you are getting into. This happens to a lot of unsuspecting customers and they end up paying for it in the end, both figuratively and literally.
Other red flags to look out for
With the shipping address make sure it’s verified.
If the person who is placing the order leaves a note that states “leave at door“, this is a major problem.
If you are in college, like many of you are, and someone asks you to take a package for them, than kindly decline the offer. Unless the request is coming from a friend or someone that you really, really trust, than I would advise you very strongly not to do it. Someone crooked it using your dorm building as a place to conduct crooked behavior. Don’t play the fool. I’m not saying that all of these are a direct sign of fraud, but more than one of these used together can be a major red flag. In my experience, it is better to be safe, than sorry.
You should never sign for a package that you feel is not valid. You are putting the relationship with you and legitimacy in jeopardy.
If it feels wrong, than say no. That way the relationship that you have with yourself will not be fraudulent, unlike the purchasing order.