Online shopping is fun. It saves you from the hassle of going to a physical store and standing in the trial queue. Also, when you are shopping online, you get access to hundreds of products, which is just not practical with a physical store. The icing on the cake is that you often get good deals on products online, which is a win-win situation.
However, online shopping has its share of disadvantages, especially concerning transaction fraud. What’s more concerning is that the volume of online scams and money lost has grown significantly over the years. Data based on 2020 analysis revealed that of the 31 countries, nearly all reported a rise in the number of scams and money lost. The COVID 19 pandemic has only added to the numbers as more and more consumers are shopping online.
If you are amongst those who shop on the web, a few hacks can see you from online shopping fraud.
Shop on reputable websites
eCommerce is here to stay forever, and the number of companies selling products online will rise in the coming time. So, expect hundreds of sellers offering you the same product online. But, do not fall prey to discounts on unknown sites. It is always better to shop directly with online retailers you are aware of. Also, when searching for a particular retailer, please pay close attention to their spelling, as many fake sites look like the actual website.
Don’t fall prey to heavy discounts and deals
A lot of resellers are using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to market their products and reach out to customers. Although not every reseller is a fraud, you still need to be careful. If you spot any ad wherein a product is being offered at rock-bottom prices, enquire before hitting the ‘Buy Now’ button.
Usually, low prices are red flags, and there is a possibility that the website is trying to get access to your personal details or steal the money.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi
Freebies are always attractive but look at them as a medium to get your personal details. We are specially talking about the free wifi connection you get at cafes and restaurants. There’s always a possibility that somebody sitting next to you is a hacker and might be spying on your online activity. So even if you are connected to public wifi, do not share your credit card number, name, and address on the network.
Beware of email scams
Most of us get those lottery emails claiming that we have won thousands of pounds or freebies. Instead of opening these emails, delete them. Never open any attachment with the email or click on the links because these can result in a malware attack on your computer or mobile phone.
Prefer paying with a credit card
It is always better to use your credit card to make online payments. This way, the seller will not have access to the money in your bank account. Another reason to prefer a credit card is that most of them come with liability for fraud facilities. If somebody gets access to your credit card and makes a purchase, the credit card company will investigate the matter upon filing a complaint, send you a new card, and will waive off the fee in most cases.
Other things to take care of:
- In case you have to use public wifi, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so that hackers are unable to fetch your personal information or see your activities
- Always keep a strong password for your emails and other vital accounts
- Check if the website you are shopping from uses SSL encryption. Such sites have the address as ‘HTTPS’ instead of ‘http’
- Keep the order confirmation number and product tracking number safe so that if you have any problem with the order, it can be resolved quickly
The trend of online shopping in the UAE and in other countries is not going to fade away. So, instead of refraining from browsing UAE shopping sites and availing of some good deals, be careful while making a purchase. These small hacks will help you keep personal details and monetary transactions safe from any online fraud.
Nadeem is a true tech enthusiast who never misses an opportunity to share his learning and experience with all. He finds blogs and guest posts as a medium to interact with individuals who have a keen interest in technology.