You may be putting yourself at risk when you shop online if you don’t know what red flags to watch out for. Here are some things to tip you off that the site you’re shopping on may not be trustworthy.

With info from Get Cyber Safe, here are some red flags for online shopping.

Red flags

The site looks unprofessional. It may be poorly designed, have broken links, or misspelled words/bad grammar. Usually, a legitimate business will have a properly run site that appears professional without any spelling mistakes.

The contact information is missing. You can’t find an address, phone number or email address. This is important information for any business to have. It should be easy to find and clear how to get in touch with the company.

The return & refund policy is missing. Businesses can set their own refund and return policies. This information should be available on the website. If it’s not there or very unclear, it’s not a good sign.

The back button doesn’t work. If you find yourself stuck on a page and can’t go back to where you were, this could be a sign that the site is not very legitimate.

The site asks for your credit card info early on. You shouldn’t be asked to provide your credit card information until the time of purchase.

Still unsure?

If you’re still not sure about the business, start by reading some reviews. Reading reviews is a really good way to weed out the bad operators and get a sense of what people are saying about the company.

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at