The Financial Express

How to avoid getting scammed while shopping online

| Updated: October 08, 2021 14:00:39

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Shopping online can be effortless, convenient, and time-saving. Yet, frauds, scams or even hijacks have become frequent occurrences nowadays. 

Especially, after the scam of several big e-commerce services in the country got exposed recently, those who buy products online need to be more cautious.  

A regular online shopper Agnila Ahmed, a 22-year-old student and a photographer, shared some hacks to avoid unexpected hassles in online shopping. 

“While shopping online, I check for the website’s security, page likes, comments, reviews and of course the regularity of the site. It is also important to look for the descriptions and terms and conditions of the product delivery.” 

Agnila's concerns are correct, however, not enough. Here are some hacks that you should follow to avoid getting scammed while shopping online.

Shop from secured websites and pages only

Even though not all e-commerce comes up with secured websites/pages, one needs to keep the shopping limited to the encrypted ones only. 

In the web address, looking for HTTPS over HTTP is important as the ‘S’ ensures that the website is encrypted. For Facebook and Instagram pages, it is necessary to look for enough page information such as- accessible phone numbers or valid addresses.

Keep credit card and payment accounts in check

Whatever the payment method is, it needs to be kept in check. People using a credit card could best do is to remove the cards from the websites after using it. It is also necessary to look after other ways of payment like mobile banking (Bkash, Nogod). Also, the usage of strong and unique pin codes can provide a safeguard.

Look for customer reviews

It is never too late to check the merchant’s reputation or customer reviews because it is what gives credibility to the seller. Reading reviews could help the buyer to get convinced about the product’s quality. Nevertheless, beaware fake reviews.

Avoid falling for extreme profitable offers

Chowdhury A.K Bruhi, a Consultant of ADA Asia Bangladesh, warns about big discount deals. 

“It is a red flag if a company offers you products at half prices because there is no business that is seeking profit loss. So, a buyer should look for sites where they maintain a minimum profit scale.”

Most frauds happen via the promotion of quality products at extremely low costs. So, avoiding advertisements that look ‘too good to be true’ is key to prevent getting scammed.

Don’t forget to take the receipt

Some pages would want advance payments for shipment purposes. With all that in mind, one should never forget to get the receipt while paying advance money.

Complain about the ill experience

Online shopping can cause displeasing or ill experiences. Complaining about such incidents could make others aware. So, it is important to speak up about inconvenient incidents.

Read the Terms and Conditions

In this regard, Mr Bruhi is concerned about the fact that customers are always reluctant to read the terms and conditions.

“It is salient to look at the TCs or customer reviews before buying anything; or at least one should request information of the delivery details and return policies."

What is mostly avoided during online shopping is reading the terms and conditions, which can lead to inappropriate incidents. So, before agreeing to the buying policies, make sure to read the terms and conditions. 

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