The NYT publishes a cautionary tale as Cyber Monday approaches; here's an excerpt:
THE World Wide Web handed shoppers a few rounds of new ammo, like a way to compare prices and a big podium for ranting about transactions gone wrong. But it gave retailers some weapons, too, and for years consumers have howled that unscrupulous sellers have used the Internet the way bank robbers use ski masks.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, a partnership between the F.B.I. and the National White Collar Crime Center, announced two weeks ago that it had received its two millionth complaint since it began in 2000. Consumer losses are estimated at $1.7 billion.
The story of DecorMyEyes suggests that 15 years after the birth of online commerce, the Internet is still strewn with trap doors, and that when consumers take a tumble, they are pretty much on their own. Mr. Borker is skilled at tunneling under the few obstacles in his way, but he has hardly been hiding. With a few tweaks and added vigilance from an array of companies and public institutions that are supposed to monitor e-commerce thuggery, Mr. Borker’s approach to retail might be impossible to sustain.
Read the whole thing if you're into horror stories of the innernet kind and this IS a horror story... complete with threats of violence and other sorts of skulduggery. I've never had a bad experience with on-line shopping and I've been doing ALL my Christmas shopping on-line since 1998. As a matter of fact it's rare for me to buy much of anything at brick and mortar places these days. One could say I've been lucky on-line, but there's a method to my madness. I practice Safe-Shopping by only patronizing reputable, known vendors and I always go by that time-tested motto: if it LOOKS too good to be true it prolly IS too good to be true.
Be careful out there.