How consumers can avoid TikTok shopping scams 

TikTok is quickly becoming one of the most common platforms to be scammed on, which is why it’s more important than ever for consumers to understand what the risks are. 

Unfortunately, many of the shopping scams that have emerged in recent years have been hard to spot. It’s not always clear whether a vendor is real or fake. And, while looking out for the best deals, a lot of TikTok users have been complaining about the number of scams on the platform. 

Some of the most common scams include: 

1. Online Shopping Scams:

Online shopping scams involve fraudulent schemes where scammers create fake online stores or use deceptive practices to trick unsuspecting individuals into buying something. The purchases are for products that either don’t exist or are significantly different from what was advertised. These scams often result in financial loss and compromised personal information.

2. Delivery Scams:

Delivery scams are a form of deception where scammers pose as legitimate delivery companies or individuals and attempt to deceive victims into providing sensitive information, making payments, or clicking on malicious links. They may involve fake delivery notifications, requests for additional fees, or false claims about undelivered packages.

3. Gift Card Scams:

Gift card scams involve scammers tricking users into purchasing gift cards and then providing the scammers with card numbers and PINs. The scammers may impersonate authorities, family members in distress, or businesses, claiming urgent need for gift cards as payment. Once the scammers have the card information, they can quickly redeem the funds. 

These scams aren’t new, but they’re still very effective, particularly on TikTok where the primary demographic is 18-24-year-olds, and, unlike older internet users, this age group hasn’t always been exposed to social media scams. 

Some tips for consumers to protect themselves from these scams include: 

  • Always remember that merchandise could be fake. With online purchases, you can easily be tricked into buying something that doesn’t exist. 
  • Verify the product and seller validity, especially if a deal seems too good to be true. Look up the seller’s website carefully and check their social media platforms. 
  • Avoid giving out personal and sensitive information if you don’t need to, like in gift card giveaways or social media quizzes. 

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