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Tips To Ensure Safe Online Shopping

  • Highlights

  • Following the outbreak of the pandemic, people prefer to buy everything from groceries to apparel online

  • Online frauds and scams are also on the rise. Take adequate precautions while shopping online

  • Do not share your financial or personal data with any e-commerce site

Online shopping is very convenient. Be it groceries, electronics, furniture, apparel, or accessories - just about everything is a click away. Comparing prices, brands, and product specifications become all too easy on a mobile device or computer. Add to this the big discounts, flash sales, free delivery options offered by most e-commerce stores, and it becomes easy to understand why you never want to go out to the stores and shop. Shopping online does, however, come with a number of security concerns. The number of online scams, phishing and vishing attempts, and financial fraud stemming from online shopping is rising. This means that we need to stay updated and take adequate precautions.

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Tips for safe online shopping

  • Do not click on links sent to you by unknown entities. These could look like attractive advertisements but as a rule of thumb, never click on any such links. Never click on banner ads or pop-ups unless you verify them.

  • Watch out for fake websites. Check the spelling of the domain name, the correct extension (.com, .org, .in). Usually, you can identify secure sites by looking up the URL prefix. https:// is a safety indicator.

  • Beware of data farms. Some merchants or e-commerce portals prompt you to fill out forms that require your confidential information. These could be data farms or could be selling out your information to third-party entities. Limit the amount of information you share while shopping.

  • Do not respond to callers who ask for a credit card, CVV, OTP, etc. They could claim to be calling from an online shopping site and may even say that you have run up into payment issues. Never reveal financial information that can sjeopardise your online safety.

  • Look out for certifications such as Verisign, Digicert, etc. Click on the logo to see the certification and verify that the website you are logged on to is indeed a genuine one.

  • Never save your payment information on your mobile device, computer, or on the merchant site. The risk of a data breach at the merchant end is high, leading to credit card frauds, phishing attempts, or identity theft.

  • Sign up for email and text notifications with all your banks, credit card companies, etc. This way, you will get to know if there is an unauthorised transaction on your card.

  • Read up on online frauds, phishing attempts during online shopping, etc. The RBI has launched a customer awareness drive through its banks and reputed NBFCs such as Bajaj Finserv. Stay aware and stay protected.

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What to do if you fall for a fraud?

If you suspect you have been defrauded while shopping online, it is best to contact the bank or credit card company and try to stop the payment or at least block the card. Lodge an FIR at the local police station and also with the cybercrime cell at 155260.

Savdhaan Rahein. Safe Rahein.

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