Charging you more than you authorized, explaining it as an upgrade or a lifetime warranty.
- Selling you more or different products than you ordered.
- Charging you monthly for an auto-ship service or newsletter subscription that’s buried in legalbabble, or for a “discount club” that’s out of the blue.
These practices are the hook inside the “free” flashlights and “barely legal” lasers offered on some high-pressure web sites. You can ask your credit-card issuer to help you get your money back; but it’s better to prevent a theft than to try to recover from it. PayPal stops theft by keeping the seller from seeing your credit card data. Here‘s a simple chart that shows how.
Before you can use PayPal for the first time, you need to set up a PayPal account and arrange for a means of payment. A credit card is best. This way, in addition to the protections and guarantees PayPal offers, you add a layer of protection by your credit-card issuer.
The other requirement for use of PayPal, of course, is that the seller must accept it. Not offering PayPal doesn’t prove the seller is a scammer. But offering it means the seller is willing to do business in a way that protects you. That’s encouraging, even if you opt to pay by credit card instead.
Russell, an online merchant, advises “Only accepting Visa and MasterCard during checkout should automatically raise a red flag and the buyer should stop and research or close their browser.”
In future reviews I’ll be noting whether a seller offers PayPal.