Last week we discussed how quilters have been getting scammed on Facebook and other social media. Now, I want to discuss how to protect yourself while shopping online. Quilters and sewists seem to be a favorite target of scammers. How can you be cautious and stay safe while shopping? Here are some great tips!
1. Caution When Exploring Unfamiliar Websites: While it’s perfectly normal to come across new online quilt shops and fabric suppliers, it’s crucial to approach them with a discerning eye. If you stumble upon a website that offers quilting supplies or fabrics from a source you’ve never heard of, exercise caution. Look for red flags, such as:
- Lack of contact information or a physical address.
- Suspiciously low prices or unrealistic discounts.
- Poorly designed websites or an absence of customer reviews.
Before making a purchase, take the time to research the website’s credibility. Look for customer reviews and ratings, and verify their contact information. Trustworthy online shops should provide clear and easy ways to get in touch with them.
2. Beware of Social Media Advertisements: Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram often present us with enticing advertisements for quilting supplies, fabrics, and tools. While many of these ads are legitimate, some may lead you down the path of scams or subpar products. When encountering these ads, keep the following tips in mind:
- Investigate the source: Click on the ad to visit the website, but don’t rush into making a purchase. Look for signs of a legitimate business, such as detailed product descriptions, contact information, and customer reviews.
- Verify their social media presence: Legitimate businesses often have active and engaged social media profiles. Check if the ad links to an authentic social media page with a history of posts and interactions with customers.
- Be wary of unrealistic offers: If the prices or deals seem too good to be true, they may be a bait-and-switch tactic. Compare prices with other established retailers to gauge whether the offer is reasonable.
While the internet has enriched our quilting experiences in numerous ways, it has also brought with it the need for increased vigilance. By being cautious about unfamiliar websites and scrutinizing social media advertisements, we can all stay safer online.
Want to read part one of this online safety series on Nancy’s Notions? Click here!