How to stay away from scams when shopping online?

shopping, online shopping, shopping cart @ Pixabay

Many people around the world prefer to buy online to avoid long queues in stores and malls. A piece of advice: be careful! Today, online deceptions and scams are on the rise. Nevertheless, there are many ways to avoid them and deal with this growing crime.

Monitoring the reputation of a site:

Many e-commerce sites offer unbeatable commercial offers. So, it’s hard to resist. However, these offers can come from scam sites and drop shipping.

We highly recommend choosing sites that you already know or sites with a good reputation. In the slightest doubt, a consumer can go to Trustpilot or discussion forums to study the opinions of other buyers.

In addition, make sure you are not on a fraudulent copy of an official site or on a site created for the occasion which offers deals like you don’t see anywhere else, but which were created only to defraud you.

Scrupulously check the address of the site, a single character can sometimes be changed compared to the name of the official website. Faced with an unknown site, looking for its name on a search engine and consulting the reviews will save you many disappointments.

Check legal notices and the security of the site:

First, make sure the site URL starts with HTTPS. The “s” informs that the merchant platform is secure. If this is not the case, it is strongly advised to close it and shop somewhere else. When you land on a site that you do not know, the second step is to go to the very bottom of the site to check legal notices.

Also, to surf safely, know that the e-merchant is obliged to display the following information:

– the name of the company

– license numbers

– full contact details

The company must also be completely transparent regarding its privacy policy and terms of sale.

Check the reality of the promotion on the merchant’s official website or by contacting their sales department by telephone or email. Check if the listed employees really work for that company on Leadar.

Cyber-scams: Beware of phishing:

Carefully check senders’ addresses in messages (a single character can sometimes be changed), do not click on links, and do not open attachments from unknown or questionable people who tell you about the ‘deal of the century’. You could regret it bitterly due to the theft of your access codes, your personal or banking data, virus download, or the purchase of a counterfeit. Make sure to check the generic details of that unknown person on Nuwber before clicking on any suspicious links. In general, be careful with emails you didn’t expect to receive.

Use another payment method:

A credit card remains the most used means of payment by online consumers. But this way is not flawless. E-merchants are also the target of cyberattacks. Indeed, cybercrime is more and more frequent and merchants must constantly innovate their systems and policies to counter this intrusion. Alternative means of payment are then put in place for consumers.

Convenient and fast, PayPal is very successful in this regard with more than 190 million users. This means of payment saves you from systematically giving your credit card number and offers you optimal security through encryption methods.

Apple also offers a mobile payment service “Apple Pay”. This service can be used in stores, within applications, but also on the internet thanks to your fingerprint. Simple and secure, it allows you to keep and consult the history of your latest transactions. However, this service is only available on Safari: Apple’s browser.

Implementation of 3-D Secure:

For optimal security, 40% of e-commerce sites have implemented “3-D Secure”. This device allows the buyer to receive a confidential code on ерушк mobile when the order is confirmed. This code must be entered online to make the transaction effective. You never share this code with anyone as it’s confidential information.

Beware of overly generous offers

If the promotion seems much more interesting to you than anywhere else, then consider it suspicious in principle and do at least minimum verification before buying (the reality of the promotion, notoriety of the seller, risk of counterfeiting, etc.). As there’s the risk of never seeing your purchase or, at best, to have a counterfeit delivered to you.

In that case, it is advisable to protect your personal and banking data. Even if you miss a very good deal, do not provide your personal or banking data too quickly at the risk of consequences that could be dramatic: identity theft, fraudulent banking transactions, etc.

The access to data on social networks and other digital platforms, whether video or shopping, is yours and you must protect it. Prevent your username, registration email, or passwords from being accessible to other users, and use passwords that are difficult to guess.

Be careful when using a public Wi-Fi network

This is something that many users do not know, but there is a great risk when we use a public Wi-Fi network, being away from home or work. This practice has specific risks as hackers can position themselves between the user and the access point, thus breaking the security of the network. Thus, as a user, you are sending the data directly to the hacker.

Spot and identify counterfeits:

Banking data attacks are not the only recognized scams online. Counterfeits sold on the web are increasing every day. These items are often sold at very low prices. You have to be very attentive with the photos, but also with the texts, which can sometimes contain spelling errors.

During promotional periods, cybercriminals multiply the number of cyber-scams, taking advantage of the many offers on the internet to try to defraud consumers.

False promotional announcements, false ‘official’ merchant websites, false e-commerce sites created for the occasion, phishing by SMS, telephone, or email, false carrier, false technical support, false order confirmations, false after-sales service sale, virus or ransomware attacks… All fraudulent techniques are used by criminals to try to deceive their victims to purchase things that they will never see delivered, steal their personal or banking data or get them for ransom.

Take note of all of the above-mentioned tips to stay away from scams when shopping online.