Shopping Scam or Not? Here Are The Answers!

How did you do on our Shopping Scams quiz?

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about these latest scams. Continue reading below for the detailed explanation behind each question.

Question 1: A Facebook friend shared with you a competition to win the latest iPhone. The competition is on a website you’ve never heard of before. All you have to do is to fill in your first and last name, your email address, and complete a quick survey. Should you enter this competition?

This is a classic Bait-and-Switch method. The latest iPhone is the bait, and in return, you give up your personal information or traffic to this website.

Sometimes, companies do offer awesome giveaways like the latest iPhone. We’ve even given FixMeSticks out for free before (you just have to follow our Facebook page to enter these giveaways)!

In this case, since you have never heard of the website before, it’s wise to skip out on the competition as you never want to give your private information, including your email address to websites you are unfamiliar with.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t use smaller vendors or websites. Try asking the friend who shared the link if they are familiar with the website. You can also do your own research to determine if the website is trustworthy.

Question 2: A close friend sent you this text message: “You can apply for a Walmart Gift Card here.”. You are confused as the two of you have not talked about going to Walmart recently. What should you do?

Nowadays, many companies offer you deals and discounts if you refer their products or services to a friend.

In this case, since your close friend has not talked about going to Walmart recently, it’s wise to ask them whether they meant to send this offer to you or not.

You should also notify your friend about this message so they can check if their text messaging account has been compromised. If you click on a malicious link from your smartphone, your personal details and the information from your contact list might be collected, and your device might be infected with malware.

Question 3: Should you complete this Air Canada survey?

Reviews are important to a lot of businesses and many will send you follow-up emails after you use their product or service. Often, there will be an incentive to leave a review, like being entered to win a gift card or receiving a discount on your next purchase.

Scammers are also targeting this trend by pretending to be big companies and asking you to leave reviews. These big companies are targeted since there’s a higher chance of you having used their services or products recently.

This is also why it does not matter whether you have flown with Air Canada recently or not. Always check the sender’s email address which in this case, is which is not related to Air Canada at all.

Question 4: You ordered a new watch online on Black Friday. You have never ordered anything from this website before but you know your friend shops on this website all the time. Three weeks later, you still have not received your watch. What should you do?

Hundreds of packages get lost on their way to the destination every day. In this case, you know that your friend has been using this website without any issues so it’s unlikely the company is a scam.

Generally, if you file a credit card dispute, it can take longer for the bank to review the case and refund you your money. That’s why it’s always best to contact the website first to see if they are experiencing shipping delays, especially with all the online shopping around the holidays!

If you do not receive a response from the website after a week or so, you can definitely file a dispute and most of the time, your banking institution will refund you for shipments that you did not receive.

Question 5: Should you click on any of the links in this email?

There are several things wrong with this email. First of all, the sender’s address is which does not mention Walmart anywhere.

Secondly, the email is full of links which seems like the sender is hoping you would click on one of them by accident.

Lastly, Walmart is misspelled in one of the sentences which is a sign the email has not been proof-read and is likely not from Walmart.

Question 6: You find an online website that sells products at ridiculously low prices. What are some things you should be aware of when purchasing products on this website?

Ultra-low-cost websites like eBay, Aliexpress, and Wish have been getting more popular in the past year.

Like Amazon, these websites provide an online marketplace for sellers and buyers to meet. The reason why their prices are low is that you are likely buying directly from a manufacturer which reduces the cost of a middleman. Also, there’s a possibility that any branded goods listed on these websites are counterfeit.

Other things to be aware of are the additional shipping fees, import fees if the item is being shipped from another country, and poor to no customer service.

Question 7: You plan to use your Paypal account to do your Cyber Monday shopping. However, you recently received this email from Paypal. Is this email really from Paypal or is it a scammer pretending to be Paypal?

In this case, if you are not sure whether a sender’s email address is real, a quick Google search can help. By Googling, you will find this forum on Paypal’s website. The forum confirms that the email address is really from Paypal.

As a general rule, if you are unsure whether an email is real or not, the first thing to do is to check if the email asks for any personal information such as the ones listed below:

  • Bank account numbers or debit and credit card numbers.
  • Driver’s license number or other government-related ID numbers.
  • Your full name or birth date.
  • Passwords or pin numbers.

If the email asks you to reply with any of the above information, then chances are it’s probably a scam email.

That’s all for this time, FixMeFans!

If you’d like to try our other FixMeQuizzes, you can check them out below:

Cyber Security Quiz
Last Year’s Phishy Deals Quiz
Internet Safety Quiz


  1. Dave - Reply

    Recently it has been shown (on TV) that hackers can and do use the proper web addresses or email contact address and substitute their link in the others place. So while EVERYTHING might pass scrutiny it can still be a hoax. As a member of a Special Interest Group our website was taken over by a financial adviser and stock promoter operating out of his residence. The web site and contact info was all correct, but links were substituted behind the scenes so to speak, so every time someone would go to the site they would be immediately in contact with the highjacker. We had to start anew in a more secure location. If your not certain – don’t respond, go to the web site through your own secure browser.

    • Linda - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience and tips with us, Dave. It sounds like hacks are becoming more complicated each day so you can never be too careful.

      • Bob Gales - Reply

        This is a great service because you provide excellent answers to challenging questions for people who act before they think.

  2. George Schenk - Reply

    The first question on win an iPhone said that you only leave your name and email address. Providing that is all the information supplied and nothing else then would it still be a scam?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi George, good question. Email addresses are increasingly becoming tied to your personal identity. For example, online accounts like your banking or Netflix accounts may use your email to sign in. In the iPhone question, it can still be a scam because you do not know if anyone entering the competition will actually win an iPhone. The iPhone might be a bait to get your full name and email address. Check out this article here to see all the things a hacker can do with only your email address.

  3. Bonnie - Reply

    I just make it a rule to NEVER click on a link in an email even if it is from my bank or PayPal. I would go to their website then update any information needed.

  4. Colin S. - Reply

    The e-mail address wasn’t the only red flag in the Air Canada one — in fact I had to magnify the heck out of the image to make it out at all. The spelling / grammar error in the main text (i.e. “your Air Canada’s experience”, with an inappropriate possessive) was what caught my eye right away and can also be a give-away. Most of these scams originate with people whose first language isn’t English, so both grammar and spelling can be uneven in the scam’s wording, especially if they are depending upon translation programs. Certainly a big company like Air Canada wouldn’t let that wowser go out without being corrected. As well, name conventions vary from culture to culture, so if you live in North America and get an unexpected communication from abroad with the greeting “Mr. John” instead of the correct “Mr. Smith” (given that your name is , say, John Smith), you should instantly be suspicious, especially if the person claims to be representing a large North American firm.

    • Linda - Reply

      Thanks for trying our quiz and sharing these very helpful tips, Colin!

  5. Anonymous - Reply

    I shop online regular using the same sites all the time. I only open the e-mails that have my order number and tracking number. I don’t use paypal anymore I used to but I had a falling out with them and canceled my account. On the quiz I only found a place to answer on the first two and they were both right. I like the quizzes but I would like to know where to answer them so I know how I did.

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