safe shopping

When you pay over the Internet through well-known payment providers you are generally protected by guarantees and anti-fraud measures. However you should always follow a set of guidelines. The following list, though not exhaustive, is a good starting point.

Freewebstore Safety Guidelines

1. Do not 'wire' money?

Never, ever 'wire' money to a seller, no matter what they say, no matter how genuine they seem. Do NOT use Western Union to send money to strangers - insist on a well-known ecommerce provider, or say NO!

This is not marketing; this is honest advice. We refer, not to Freewebstore as a well-known eCommerce provider, but to the payment methods, such as PayPal, which are available everywhere. When you pay online through a well-known eCommerce payment provider, such as PayPal, WorldPay or SagePay, you can be assured there are safeguards and guarantees in place, and you are entering into a contract to purchase an item. By wiring money to people, you leave yourself extremely vulnerable.

Should somebody on the Freewebstore platform ask you to wire money to them, please report them.

Advice from Western Union:

For online auctions, examine seller feedback carefully and know the warning signs associated with fraudulent auction sales. Most online auction sites have safety guidelines or FAQs that can help you identify potentially fraudulent sales. Be wary if the seller is using a free email address or insists on accepting only one form of payment. Report any suspicious activity and file non-delivery of goods complaints with the auction site through which you purchased the item. Remember that Western Union never acts as a guarantor of an auction buyer or seller's performance.

Western Union is an venerable, reputable company, but a company that advises you, the buyer, against using its services to pay for online goods. For more information on Western Union transfers, and scams, please see their excellent Fraud Protection Section.

Again, from a Western Union advisory document, pertaining to auction sites, but equally relevant to Freewebstore stores:

"Remember, Western Union recommends against using the Western Union Money Transfer® service to pay for online auction purchases. It is important to note that Western Union does not offer any type of purchase protection or escrow service and is not responsible for the nonreceipt or quality of goods or services. Western Union is in the business of transferring funds from a sender to a receiver. We are not a collection or holding service."

...[Also be warned in advance that] "Test questions are designed for use in an emergency situation when your receiver has lost his identification. They should never be used to delay payout of a transaction and are not intended as a form of protection when purchasing goods or services from a stranger."

2. Use a well-known provider

Always pay using a well-known and secure provider, such as PayPal, WorldPay or SagePay.

3. Small print

They may be long, dull and boring, but always read the small print for any purchases you are making.

For more information, please check out GetSafeOnline - protect yourself from identity thieves, viruses, phishing and other internet threats with expert advice from the British government.

The following links may also be helpful:

  1. Western Union's Fraud Centre
  2. PayPal's Security Centre

This advice is provided by Freewebstore to all of its members and users. It is not exhaustive, so remember: if a purchase seems too good to be true, it probably is!

For more information on Freewebstore, please click here to visit our Homepage.