This is the in thing in town nowadays to do shopping online.
Online shopping is actually a good thing to have, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic time.
In a way, this helps to keep the cases of infection down and to certain extent, keep the human traffic in the shopping malls and reduced congestion on the road too.
As usual, any good invention or things will always have the bad influence or effect too.
Scammers have been using the online shopping platform to scam on unsuspecting people.
They will make use of the human mind of tenancy to assume the link is alright.
By the time the unsuspecting victim realized they have been scammed, it may be too late as there is monetary loss .
The common online shopping platform mushroom practically overnight.
Over here in Singapore, we have things like Lazada, Shoppe, Amazon Prime, NTUC Fairprice, RedMart, just to name a few more famous and popular one, .
How do the scammers use the shopping platform to scam unsuspecting victims?
1. SMS messages asking you to pay more.
Normally a legit shopping platform will not ask you to pay more after you have made payment on the item you have selected.
According to reported news recently, scammers had used a tactic to message shoppers and telling them that they needed to pay more for the items they have purchased.
a lot of shoppers especially those who frequently use online shopping, once received the message, will not bother to check the authenticity of the message.
They just click on the link provided in the message and make the additional payment as required.
scammers fully make use of the human tendency not to check in details to implant a phishing malware into the device of the victims the moment the victims click on the link provided.
Human being tends to assume the message is genuine and the link is the real website link.
However if they just pay more attention and be more alert, they will notice the link provide is not the official website of the shopping platform.
2. Sending emails to the victims and asking them to make any additional payment.
this type of scam is quite common, the reason being recipient of email do not bother to check the email domain of the sender at all.
they always assume the email is from the real shopping platform they often use without knowing the email domain is different, even though the title of the sender is the same name as the shopping platform.
If they really care to be more alert and check the email domain, they will find out it is not the official email domain at all, and if they have clicked on the link provided in the email, the phishing malware will be activated.
What can a person do to avoid this type of scam?
1. Check the link provided before you click on the link.
Check whether the link is the real link, then compare it with the platform domain.
2. Call the platform
if in doubt, call the platform and verify whether they have sent you any message.
3. Check whether you have made any purchase recently using that shopping platform.
a lot of people tend not do the check as they have bought online too often and they fail to keep track of their purchases, and it does not cross their mind that they do not make any purchase recently.
4. Just delete the messages you received without opening.
people may worry what if the message is true, well, if the message is true, the platform will get in touch with you again, or call you to inform you to top up the shortfall when the goods is delivered.
if there is no reminder sent, then you can be sure it is a hoax and a scam.
Do You Think You Have Been Scammed?
if you think you have been scammed, you can do the following:
1. Check whether you have made any purchase recently, if it is negative, then you do not have to worry.
2. Try to make payment using credit card instead of using your debit card or online banking.
It is important to set your credit card charge alert to one cent, meaning even there is a charge for one cent, there will be a message alert to inform you that your card is being charged.
if you have not made any payment, call the credit card issuing bank to stop the payment.
Normally, the bank which charge your credit card will not remit the money to the merchant immediately, so the moment you receive the message of the charges, call them immediately.
3. Report the scam immediately to the relevant authority, this can help the relevant authority to gather more information and take necessary action.
4. Spread the words among your friends about the scam.
5. Share it in your social media so that more people will know about the scam.
6. You can share your experience with https://www.scamalert.sg/
7. Internationally you may want to report to HERE
just be more alert and check any link sent to you, especially the domain of the link.
Whatever you do, do not click on the link at all.
If you have any feedback and comments, do drop a few lines in the comments section below.
Share your experience and let's make online shopping a better place.