7 Ways to Avoid Fraud When Shopping Online

The trend of online shopping has grown in Pakistan, especially after the nationwide lockdown during the first wave of the Corona virus epidemic, a large number of people resorted to online shopping. 7 Ways to Avoid Fraud When Shopping Online

Seeing the increasing number of online shopping users in Pakistan, many websites are coming up but some of them fail to meet the expectations of the buyers and some fail to fool them.

A few days ago, a user on social media accused a leading courier company of sending them second-hand clothes instead of the original order. When this video went viral, many consumers came forward who had not had a good online shopping experience or were victims of fraud.

After this social media campaign, the concerned company clarified in a statement that actually the order on their website is between the buyer and the seller and the courier company is not responsible for it. So to avoid such unfortunate incidents and online frauds, users must keep these seven golden rules in mind.

1# Learn about the relevant website

To avoid online counterfeiting, experts recommend knowing the website or brand in question before placing an order. If the online store is well-known, the risk of fraud will be reduced. However, if the website is unknown or new, then decide to order after investigating.

2# Being the same name of the famous company

Another thing to consider is that the website you are going to order from is not misusing or similar to a big brand name. Originals and duplicates can be found by searching the internet.

3# Contact Number or address

Online stores usually provide their contact number and email address along with their introduction. Also, their return policy, privacy policy and shipping information are also listed in detail. In contrast, fraudsters avoid providing a clear policy or their contact number. Consumers should carefully read such information on the website and call the given numbers to satisfy themselves about the online store.

4# Read the reviews

Before making a purchase from any online store, it is important to read the comments and opinions of other buyers about the reputation of the respective store. These comments (reviews) are usually from people who have had a good or bad experience with the respective company.

A lack of reviews on a website indicates that a company is untrustworthy. Also, be wary if only positive reviews are available for an unknown company.

5# Refuse to Provide Personal information

Only your phone number and home address are required when shopping online. If a company asks you for your bank account or other personal information, you should be suspicious.

6# Only trust tagged images

Often when shopping online there is a possibility that the image posted on the website is not stolen from another website. This is the reason why most of the time customers don’t get what they ordered. To avoid such a situation, ask for tagged images from the respective store.

7# Unbelievably cheap deals

 Be wary if you see incredibly discounted prices on a website, as claims of selling products at below-market prices could also be fraudulent. Also observe competitor websites for actual price of goods and avail discounts.

In Pakistan, there are consumer courts in various districts to resolve disputes and complaints related to online shopping. Peshawar High Court lawyer Shabbir Hussain Gaggiani told Independent Urdu that consumer courts were established to resolve consumer complaints and provide prompt justice.

He said that one of the advantages of these courts was that here you could fight your case without a lawyer, but with the passage of time, even in these courts, customers cannot resolve their case without a lawyer, so apart from the lawyer’s fees. They also have to wait for a long time, due to which many consumers do not approach these courts.

He suggested that if the Government of Pakistan hands over the responsibility of the Consumer Courts to the Offices of the High Ombudsman, it will open up the possibility of early redressal of complaints.

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