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Online shopping

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

Conclusion

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.

 

Work From Home

This is a common term used in the last two years or so, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when it was a preferred working mode to avoid infected with the virus.

When you search for a job opportunity in this time of the year, you will tend to find one preferably can work from home.

Because of this, scammers also know how to cash in on this and try to scam the innocent and genuine job seekers.

During COVID-19 when so many have lost their jobs and trying to find employment, some will become desperate and will grab any job opportunity comes along.

Hence , how do you know the job opportunity is genuine and real job instead of fake job?

Scammers pose as companies, recruitment agents offering you fake jobs claiming you can work from home in this trying time.

How do people usually look for job opprotunities?

  1. using online job portals.
  2. using job postings on human resources recruitment websites.
  3. advertisements of job vacancies in printed media or social medias.
  4. WhatsApp messages of jobs opportunities.

How do you detect the scams in the work from home postings of jobs?

there are some signs and indications if you can see the postings or advertisement of jobs carefully, you can detect the scams or fake jobs.

If you can notice the following clues, you may be able to detect the scams in the job advertisement

  1. The job is too good to be true.
  2. There is little information on the company.
  3. Contact number in the post cannot confirm the legitimacy of the job offer.
  4. There are bad review online about the company.
  5. The employer is too eager to hire.
  6. You have to pay to work.
  7. The employer want to conduct interview only using WhatsApp messaging.
  1. The job is too good to be true.

If the job offer states that you can do it from home and they pay a very good remuneration even though you may not have the necessary qualification or experience for the job.

Job description indicated that the job is very easy but have good pay, you should use your own instinct to determine whether this is a scam or not.

2. There is little information on the company.

Sometimes the company may put its website domain in the job posting and when you check the website, it does not seem like a genuine website of the company.

Some scammers have the effort to display a website of the original company and thinking the job applicants will not detect the different from the genuine company website.

If you apply through the link given , you may fall to the scam of the scammers who may use the phishing malware to infect your device the moment you click on the link.

3. Contact number in the post cannot confirm the legitimacy of the job offer

Some of the job advertisements have the contact numbers, however when you try to contact, either by phone or email, you fail to get the necessary reply.

When you check the website, you will notice the contact is not correct and you are not able to reach the right person or the recruiting person.

4. There are bad review online about the company.

if you are able to read the review online about the company, you may find the reviews of the company are not encouraging, a lot of bad reviews, some people who have been cheated may just state as such in their reviews and warn future applicants to be careful of it.

5. The employer is too eager to hire.

If you apply for the job and within minutes you receive the phone from the company and the person on the other end of the line is so eager to talk to you, this may sound an alarm in your head.

Normally when you apply for a job, especially online application, you may only get a reply after a few days instead of within a day or two.

if the caller said he or she wanted to talk you to find out more about you and so on, this may give you an indication that the job offer is not real.

6. You have to pay to work.

sometimes, you may come across some jobs, once they decide to hire you, however they insist on you making some payment to process some documentation, especially if the job posting is oversea.

The potential employer may want you to remit some money for the processing of the work documentation and relevant papers, this is to ensure you have a valid documents to work in foreign country.

Should not this at the cost of the employer? you may ask, if they insisted that you need to pay and they will reimbursed you later, or once you come on board,

The advice is you should not proceed with this any longer.

7. The employer want to conduct interview only using WhatsApp messaging.

I have come across potential employers insisting on conducting interviews using WhatsApp messaging.

And when i asked why didn't we use WhatsApp video calling for the interview, the recruiters said her device did not have the said function!!!.

You will find the interview can drag on for days and conversations were on and off.

The recruiter who claimed to be the Director in charge of Human Resource would only reply to messages on and off.

she would claim she was busy doing some other things while conducting the messaging interviews.

The interview will go from official and move to some personal matters and she may claim to share your interest and slowly will try to get you to invest in what she is investing.

Normally it is a cryptocurrency trading and the platform she gives you is not that professionally set up at all.

you may read more about that in HERE.

Conclusion

By being careful, you can protect your identity, your finances and your wellbeing.

When a prospective employer is asking you to fill up an online application form, it requires some personal data such as:

  • your bank account number,
  • your date of birth and
  • those of your family members,
  • chances are this is a scam and if you click on the link, you may subject to phishing attack.

Do not give out any personal information other than the basic such as the phone number.

Some scammers are using the legitimate job portals to post fake job openings, if you are selected, do some due diligence on the company.

With the availability of the internet nowadays and the amount of information easily accessible, it is quite easy to do some background check on the companies.

One of the alert signal will be the email domain from the so called HR or hiring personnel, it is very unlikely that the company does not have its own email domain.

It is no harm to be extra careful and pass on the job opportunity if you are not sure, rather than be sorry later after you find you have been scammed.