Wigs and hair extensions are more popular than ever. Unfortunately, this has led some scammers to enter the industry and take advantage of would-be customers.
Many women purchase from disreputable companies after seeing great-looking wigs and hair extensions on Instagram for unbelievably low prices. But when these wigs arrive at customers’ doorsteps, they’re poor quality and nothing like the pictures.
Luckily, there’s some simple rules you can follow to avoid scams this holiday season. Keep reading to learn more!
8 Ways to Avoid Hair Online Shopping Scams
1. Watch Out for “Free” Hair
Don’t get us wrong: we love a good giveaway. After all, who doesn’t want the chance to win free hair?
But be careful of promotions giving away wigs for free, only asking that you to “just pay for shipping”. These companies usually charge you $20-25 to ship you a “free” wig. These scammers make their money off of inflated shipping fees, and the “free” wig is almost always extremely poorly made or even worse you don't receive anything and the scammer has vanished without a trace with no intention of ever sending the "free" wig.
Save your hard-earned money and buy from a reputable company instead!
2. Do Your Research
Before purchasing from a new hair company, do your research. Specifically, you’ll want to look for reviews of the hair company and find out how long it’s been in business.
Don’t trust a business just because they have a lot of followers on social media. After all, followers can be purchased. Reviews and length of time in operation are better indicators of a quality business.
3. Read Carefully
Before making a purchase, read through the company’s frequently asked questions and policies. If you’re not happy with the hair, can you exchange it? How long does it take for payments to process? When will you receive your order? Answering these questions ahead of time can save you a headache down the road.
4. Keep Your Payment Info Secure
Only give your payment information to sites with an SSL certificate (which stands for Secure Sockets Layer). This adds an extra layer of security to the site to protect hackers from stealing your information.
How can you tell if a site has an SSL certificate? Look for an “s” in the address bar after “http”. Secure sites have web address that start with “https”, while unsecure sites just start with “http”.
5. Choose the Right Payment Method
Legitimate businesses offer payment through credit card, PayPal, and Apple Pay. Be wary of businesses who push cash apps like Venmo or Western Union – these are often scammers posing as businesses.
Also, avoid paying for online purchases with a debit card, and always frequently check your bank account and credit card transactions to make sure there’s no suspicious purchases.
6. Be Careful Where You Shop
The holiday season is definitely a busy time, so it can be tempting to do some of your shopping while waiting in line at the coffee shop or the airport.
While it’s fine to browse as much as you want, you should avoid making actual purchases on public WiFi. Shopping on WiFi is not secure and could potentially expose your payment information to hackers.
7. Know Your Sender
Don’t click on any unsolicited links sent your email address or mobile phone. Although it may seem like it’s coming from a harmless source, these links could potentially be malicious. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
8. Trust Your Gut
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Proceed with caution when shopping outrageous sales (i.e. 80% off, etc). It may seem like a great deal, but will likely cost you more than you bargained for.
And remember: these tips are useful for all online shopping, not just for wigs or hair extensions.
Do you have any tips for avoiding scams? Let us know in the comments!