Online shopping
IN PHOTO: Studies show that 42% of UAE citizens shop online Stringer/ Reuters

As the holiday season rolls, so do the online shopping scams that never seem to get tired of thinking up new ways to dupe, targeting customers in various industries. Many of these unscrupulous individuals linger on the internet, particularly in shopping sites and social media, so it is best to stay protected. In a platform where anything goes, basically, how do you make sure you're not one of those who get lured into these online scams?

1. Know about relationship scams

A lot of people are looking for love during Christmas, which is also why they are more vulnerable to those who start a romantic relationship with them online and then start extorting money. In a report by Yahoo! News, at least 25 people were victims of dating scams in 2011. The number has continued to grow through the years because of the rise in popularity of social media networks.

2. False bargain and sale offers

Many online shopping scams will trick consumers into purchase their products, only for the buyers to realize that they did not save anything from the sale. Many people actually end up spending more or getting poor quality products that are not worth the money they paid. People should be more cautious about false advertisements.

3. False pets ads

Many families are looking to buy a family pet for Christmas. Online scammers will usually take photos of cute puppies and pets from the internet then include these in their post to attract potential buyers. They will ask the buyer to deposit the money and shipping costs first before they allegedly ship out the animal. After the deposit is confirmed, the seller will disappear immediately from the internet.

4. Online auctions

There are online shopping scams that hold fake online auctions, asking the winning bidders to deposit a part or the whole amount before they release or send the purchased item, which can even include a car. Bidders are advised to view actual pictures of the item or even meet with the seller before paying. People should also start other insured methods of payment when purchasing online.

5. Credit card fraud

Many shoppers have their credit card numbers stolen or hacked during online transactions, causing them to fall deep into credit card debt without purchasing anything. A report from The Guardian advised buyers to log out from websites after they window shop or purchase or erase all information they inputted such as their credit card numbers and information to avoid online shopping scams.