If your business knows how to buy online safely, it can help you to pay with confidence and avoid scams.
Check before you buy
Fraudsters pretend to be genuine sellers using online marketplaces and social media to trade. They can even get in touch with your firm to offer great deals.
If a seller’s prices are a lower than others, it could be a scam.
Take your time to check seller reviews to make sure they’re genuine. Lots of good reviews from different buyers are better than mixed, bad or no reviews at all.
Also ask questions before you buy. If a seller can't give any details about an item or tries to hurry your firm into paying, it could be a scam.
Look at how long a seller has been trading online. If their profile is brand new, it’s worth doing extra checks to make sure they’re genuine.
Choose a safe way to pay
To buy goods online, use your business debit or credit card. This will protect the money should anything go wrong.
Fraudsters often want you to pay by direct bank or wire transfer. These are hard to trace and if it turns out to be a scam, it’s very hard to get the money back.
Paying up front
If an item is large and expensive, only agree to pay for it when a seller hands it over.
Fraudsters can ask you to pay in full or for a large deposit before you’ve seen an item. Once they have your money, they'll disappear.
Try to get some proof that the seller is genuine and the item exists before you pay.
Is a site real or fake?
Fraudsters can copy a genuine website. If your firm visits a website to look at goods, make sure it’s real and not fake. Check the address to see if it’s spelt correctly.
Fake sites can use names that are close but not the same as the real thing.
To visit a site, type the address into the browser bar. It’s safer than clicking on a link in a message or advert.
Once you’re on a site, see if the pages look normal. If the layout, colours or logo don’t look quite right, it could be fake.
Look for the closed padlock
Before you fill in business or banking details on a site, look for the closed padlock image. You can find it in the browser bar. It means the link to the site is secure.
A secure site will also have https:// at the start of its address.
But please note, these do not mean a site is genuine. So make sure you're happy with a site before you log on, fill in any details or pay.
Never enter your bank PIN or password on a site or in an email.
That’s correct – Take your time to check seller reviews to make sure they’re genuine. Lots of good reviews from different buyers are better than mixed, bad or no reviews at all.
That’s incorrect - Fraudsters can create fake profiles and they tend to have few or no reviews.
That’s incorrect – Try to get some proof that the seller is genuine and the item exists before you pay. Fraudsters can ask you to pay in full or for a large deposit before you’ve seen an item. They’ll then disappear.
That’s correct - Fraudsters can pretend to be genuine sellers, hoping you’ll be rushed into making a payment for a seemingly good deal.
We’ll never get in touch and ask you to move money to another account. Only a fraudster would do this. If you get a message like this, don’t reply. Use our top tips for spotting a scam message.
That’s correct, we’d never message and ask you to move money to another account – not even to secure an account.
Lloyds Bank will never ask you to:
- Share account details like user ID, password and memorable information.
- Tell us the security number for Telephone Banking.
- Tell us the PIN code or expiry date of your business bank card.
- Move money to another account