The Internet has simplified retail shopping online; the trend of online shopping has been widely accepted socially because of ease but this facility comes with some hidden risk possibilities also. During a survey conducted in 2018 June, 21% online shoppers accepted that they experienced online buying frauds. A million people became a victim of online shopping scams in 2017, and some of them experienced the same several times. According to the official Financial Fraud Action report, The lost almost £2 million a day in 2016 because of online frauds. In 12017, Action Fraud registered 42,949 online shopping frauds with an estimated loss of £58m. So, should you stop online shopping? Should you refrain yourself from technical advances introduced to simplify your life? No, you should continue online shopping but with utmost care.
How to Identify Online Shopping Fraud:
Yes, you may not be a much-experienced e-shopper or www technical guy but you can identify online shopping fraud websites from a mile away by simple tricks:
- Source code: Right-click on an e-commerce website to view its source code. The trustworthy sites are created by web designing development professionals from scratch. If you see the sentence like “Created with HTML Generator Plus”, you are more prone to be prey for online fraud.
- SSL: Before serving your sensitive data like credit card details, bank detail or home address etc., make sure that the e-store website is SSL encrypted. The URL of the SSL encrypted website starts with https://.
- Detailed information: If you find important and relevant information missing or misleading about the seller, address, how to reach them and the services they offer, you can expect something fishy. The e-commerce stores selling almost all the things like tanning beds, clothes, angle grinders, food items, health supplements, fertilizer, and other items at the same time at an unbelievable high discount without much detail of products’ details, leave the site.
- Safe payments: Before processing the payment, check the credit card logos like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Maestro etc. Shops processing online payments go through a scrupulous check by financial institutions and demand certain features to ensure the payer for safe transactions.
- Use ‘Whois’ tool: Whois is a fantastic tool to check the historical information of e-commerce store; the information you can get is about IP address, name server, screenshot history, registration etc. Only authentic websites serve all the details incomplete to satisfy the visitors.
- Alexa: Alexa is the time tested tool to check the site’s popularity, queries driving traffic, other sites linked to it, numbers of visits, visitors’ details etc. Just a glance at Alexa results gives you a fair idea about the authenticity of a website.
- Page rank:PageRank, an important numeric value, represents how important is the page in www world. Better you deal only with high page ranked eCommerce websites; it ensures that more people are making purchasing for it being impressed with social media presence.
- 8. Blacklist: Some websites appear with the automated label as ‘spam’ or ‘blacklisted’ to warn the online shoppers. If a website is labelled as spam or suspicious site, make the distance immediately
- Internet opinions: Not all the trustworthy e-commerce owners post fake reviews. Googling for the opinions about a particular e-commerce store is a good idea. The tools like ‘Web of Trust’ rate the websites by scaling trustworthiness, privacy, security, child safety vendor reliability like parameters. ‘Verified Merchant’ badge boosts the confidence of online shoppers.
How to Avoid Scam While Shopping Online:
In a recent survey, 87% of online shoppers said that the shipping costs and delivery period were the most important purchasing factors while the top purchasing factor should be trustworthiness of the website. If a product is advertised with amazing and almost unbelievable features at an extremely discounted price, you should not go for it. The online fraud deals always come with a short deadline to trap you at the earliest. The fraud online stores hardly publish detailed terms and conditions. Doing fraud-free internet shopping is not tough because of the presence of so many ‘free to use tools’ to check the authenticity of the website but you need to be careful:
- Double check at which store you make purchases
- Be careful in sharing personal sensitive information
- Go through the fine lines like refund policies, order cancellation, terms and conditions etc.
- Make sure to have an authentic contact address
- Always use a credit card to pay instead of using other money transfer methods.