Do you want to buy a jewel on the internet? Know that you are not alone. In 2020, web searches involving jewelry increased by 28% and online jewelry sales are expected to steadily increase. But is it safe to buy jewelry on the internet? What are the dangers? How to defend yourself from scams?
Unfortunately, even if most of the people who buy jewelry on the internet have no problems, the scam is always lurking. But, thankfully, it’s not that hard to avoid getting cheated. Just follow the rules and do a few small checks before typing in your credit card number.
What are the dangers when buying a jewel on the internet? In 2019, for example, in the US, the FBI received an average of 1,300 reports of online theft per day (not just about jewelry, of course), for a total of $ 3.5 billion illegally stolen. The worst scam is to buy a fake jewel, perhaps a ring with the brand of a famous Maison. Or, simply, with diamonds that are not diamonds. Or diamonds born in the laboratory and not natural. Or, again, gold jewelry that turns out to be simply covered with a thin plating. Finally, the most frequent disappointment is that of finding a jewel that does not correspond to the idea suggested by the site (or the jeweler) who sold it. For example, with tiny stones, less brilliant than those in the photograph and, above all, of Lilliputian dimensions.
So why do internet jewelry purchases keep increasing? The dangers listed are possibilities, but fortunately they are not the rule. In addition, it is very convenient to receive a ring at home (when you are not mistaken in choosing the size). For many people it is not easy to approach a jewelry store for the embarrassment of having to admit the availability of a limited budget. Or because, simply, the desired jewelry brand is not available in physical stores in your city or locality. So, don’t worry too much: following the rules for buying jewelry on the internet can make you have the advantages of online shopping without running any dangers.
1 Check who the seller is
A well-known brand will surely avoid selling pits. And it does not need to be one of the largest companies in the world, as long as the brand is large enough and well known in the area in which it operates: a company is unlikely to risk losing its credibility. But it is also important to check that the site on which you are about to make a purchase is a reliable one, that of the brand of jewelery you want to purchase or a reliable online shopping site, Luisaviaroma, Modus Operandi, or a well-known jewelery company and, above all , which really exists. To avoid unpleasant surprises, check that you are not a victim of phishing.
2 Beware of mistakes
It seems trivial to say, but one of the dangers involved is to misspell the company name in the browser’s address bar. If you google Tiffany, you can be sure that the search engine will show you the right link. But if, by mistake, you write Tifany (for example) in the address bar, you can run the risk of ending up on a site that mimics the famous jewelry brand. Or, even worse, on a site built to resemble the authentic one in every way. Obviously to take possession of your data.
3 Find out the identity of the company
If you buy a jewel from a company in your country, it will be easy to check on their website what the name of the company behind the brand is. The name of the jewelry brand, in fact, does not always correspond to that of the company that produces them. A quick web search by typing the name of the company can confirm that the company really exists, the address, the name of the owner. All information that is an extra guarantee. And if you want to be even safer, make a phone call to the company.
4 Beware of easy lucky
Before making a purchase, compare similar jewelry from different companies. Carats of gold, the weight of the stones, the quality of diamonds: these are all elements that affect the price of a jewel. When you have an idea of how much the jewel you want to buy can cost, you can discard incredible discounts, unmissable offers, stratospheric discounts that are about to expire on sites other than those of a well-known manufacturer. It is probably fraud.
5 Avoid public wi-fi networks
You are at the airport and you have boring hours in front of you waiting to board the plane. To distract yourself, decide to go shopping with your smartphone. Mistaken. If you use public wi-fi networks, the danger is around the corner. There may be a cybercriminal around you just waiting for some gullible to enter your credit card number. The public networks, in fact, are very convenient, but also at risk if you venture into shopping. Fortunately, however, there is a remedy: use a VPN: a virtual private network makes your connection impenetrable. It is a service that can be purchased for a few euros or dollars a month.
6 Beware of passwords
It seems incredible, but even for 2020 the most widespread password worldwide is 123456. An invitation to dinner for those who want to steal your data. Use passwords that are difficult to guess, with a mix of lowercase and uppercase numbers, letters, and symbols. Avoid birth dates and names of children and partners. Think of a movie, place or book that is important to you and start from that. Don’t use the same password for different sites.
7 Pay attention to the abbreviation at the top left
E-commerce sites, as well as banks or where money passes, must have the web address preceded by https: //. These letters indicate that the site is protected with SSL (secure socket layer) encryption. If an e-commerce site starts with http only, it means that it is not secure and is probably very suspicious.
8 Credit card is better
A credit card does not allow the seller to directly access the money in your bank account. Additionally, most credit cards offer refund liability in the event of fraud. Therefore, a credit card is better than a debit card (such as an ATM).
9 Consider a virtual credit card
To purchase a jewel, you can use a virtual credit card, basically a temporary card number that is linked to the real credit card account. In this way, in the event of data theft, the damage will be limited.
10 Size matters
One of the biggest disappointments is to receive a jewel that turns out to be much smaller than expected. Yet on the site it looked so big … Before buying a jewel, check the dimensions described carefully and try to compare them to a jewel you already own. You will realize the differences and avoid bad surprises.