An irresistible online purchase only comes to us in two ways: while surfing the Internet or through an unsolicited offer through email. If we are prepared to judge the reliability of a site purely by the appearance of a site, we are most probably courting serious trouble for ourselves. If we can use appearance as a basis for judgment for brick-and-mortar stores, we might not fare quite as well with online stores.
It is far more difficult for physical stores to deceive customers because of the actual preparation required to create the right elements for deception. A deceptive online store simply needs a flashy website and prospective customers who do not care much for confirming that status of the business they are transacting with. Deceivers are masters of detecting opportunities as manifested by readily trusting buyers.
The reputation of online businesses can be verified with certain agencies such as the Better Business Bureau in the area where a seller is supposed to be located. This is why it is important to obtain a physical address and not merely settle for a P.O. Box or telephone number. The given phone number should also be tested to check if it is actually working or existing. The same can be done for emails just to make sure that the given accounts are active.
A legitimate business will be willing, if not eager to provide its real contact information. What is the sense of hiding such important information when the main purpose is to get customers? It is best to avoid transacting with companies that are less than forthright with their information. Extra care should be accorded to transactions that involve foreign addresses since it is usually more difficult to confirm legitimacy. Paying through credit cards is a safer option because there is a chance for recovery in case a problem arises. Online purchase scams can be avoided with a little more effort than usual.