However, we advised you to do proper research about the site before working on it. Here are a few points on how to avoid scams and fraudulent sites:
1.Take time to research about the online vendor
Research about the vendor to ensure that they sell genuine merchandise. Avoid sites that market themselves with unrealistic offers and discounts. Also make sure that the payments are well secured so that your personal and financial information is not left exposed. Customers’ testimonials and reviews will give evidence of the company’s competence or incompetence in offering the product or service you intend to purchase.
2.Evaluate the trustworthiness of the vendor.
Does the company have a verifiable physical address? Have they provided contact details? Do they answer calls and reply emails and text messages?
Use the company’s phone number to confirm its location and the name of the owner. If the details you get do not match with what has been provided on the site, there is a big chance that the business is a scam.
Verifying these contact details will help to ward off any chances of dealing with a scam website.
3.How professional does the website look?
Scammers don’t have enough time or resources to put in place a neat and user-friendly website. The first sign of a scam is a website with huge chunks of promotional content (often with poor grammar) placed haphazardly on the homepage. Another sign is persuasive messages popping up regularly and notifying you of an almost ending offer, or prompting you to ORDER NOW, or make immediate payment.
4.Any issues with payment for merchandise?
Reviews of a reliable company will portray it as a genuine business that deducts the right amount of money from clients’ accounts. Scams and fraudulent sites are characterized by customers’ complains about how the site took money and did not deliver the anticipated product or service.
Few More about Online Shopping/Sites:
There is no doubt that online shopping is very convenient, whether buying electronic goods or household goods. The sad part is that many kinds of cheating have started in online shopping. It is possible that if you order something online, you will not get the product or you will get some fake or broken goods. You can also get an empty packet or filled with stones.
Actually, this problem can happen on any stage. For this, you have to understand the process of sale and delivery. Some sites like Fab India only sell their products, while most sites provide platforms for a lot of sellers, such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon etc. What you order here, the product website itself or the seller delivers it to you. Some sites also offer special services, under which the quality and delivery of premium products are guaranteed.
These sites buy products from other sellers but do quality checks and deliver on their own. For example, Flipkart is soon to launch F-Assured, under which better delivery and quality will be ensured. Apart from this, Amazon Prime is also a paid service, which provides similar facilities to its members by paying about 500 rupees for a year.
Be the first to contact the website or seller. If you have chosen a site with a guaranteed exchange or money back policy, then write an email giving information about fraud, product details and payment methods etc. But do not give sensitive information like bank account.
The site will reply to you after verification within a specified time. If the site does not respond, you can make a complaint in the District or State Consumer Redressal Forum. You can place your complaint on the consumer complaint site.
You can also file a complaint on the twitter handle of the company. If the site is fake, then leave the possibility of damages. Suppose you will not get your money back. However, you must inform the police so that other people can escape the fraud.
Types of Scams:
Fake Website: Thugs who have a good understanding of technology often create fake sites with identical looking logos and domain names, which look exactly like the real ones. Through these, they disappear after recovering money from the customers.
Site True, Seller Incorrect: If you did not find the product or found broken, the website or the courier company could be fraudulent. However these sites themselves monitor the ratings of buyers and the seller in other ways. Yet it is not possible to catch all the fraudsters.
Cheating of the courier company: May be both the site and the seller are right, but if they do not choose the right courier company and choose the cheapest company to save money, the customer can still be cheated.
How to Avoid:
Check the site: If you want to try a new site, then firstly check its domain name. See that the URL contains https and not empty http, then check the spelling of the site. To know whose name is this domain, you go to registry.in/WHOIS and check. If no contact details are visible on the site or if the return policy does not appear correct then it is better to leave such site. You can also know the trust rating of the company by visiting scamadviser.com. Here, apart from all the details of the company, you will also get information about how safe is the purchase from the company.
Check the rating of the seller: If you have chosen a well-known site, then it is better to choose Product Assurance Service. If you do not want to make extra payment, then please take note of buyers review and seller rating. See that people have given good rating on the quality and delivery of the product. According to a Flipkart spokesperson, the company takes strict measures against sellers who do not have a good rating or are found to be selling fake goods.
Secure payment: Avoid direct payment. Take a service like PaisaPay on eBay, which ensures that the seller will not be paid by the website until the customer receives the product. Similarly, avoid payment through electronic bank transfers as it is difficult to get back the money once it is withdrawn from the bank. Likewise, pay with a credit card that has a lower payment limit and is used exclusively for online shopping. ‘Cash on delivery’ can also be a good option. It is better to do video recording while taking delivery and opening the packet, that too without stopping. In case of any fraud, this video will act as proof and will help in returning your money.
What to do & what not to do:
• Do not shop just because of the low price. Must read seller ratings and buyers reviews.
• Do not make purchases through bank transfer. Buy via credit card or cash on delivery.
• If you do not have firewalls or anti-virus software, do not shop from mobile phones.
• During the delivery and opening of the packet, make non-stop video so that what happens in the packet can be recorded.