Changing shopping habits have influenced what marketing looks like in today’s world due to the severe time crunch and the ongoing pandemic.
Social media shopping has grown exponentially over the last decade. So much so that customers order basic amenities like groceries and medicines online.
But has this shopping habit given rise to online shopping scams? Has the market become a hotspot for scams and frauds?
Here’s all you should know about fraud.
An online shopping scam is a kind of fraud wherein the buyer promises the customer a product or a service. Usually, the client clears the dues but does not receive the promised benefit, service, or product.
Scams rely on putting attractive advertisements on their shopping page. Eventually, The target audience receives these ads and is lured into buying them.
Unfortunately, the product is never delivered to the client or of inferior quality. Either way, the buyer’s trust is betrayed, and money is lost.
Pandemic Shopping And The Rise Of Scams
Due to the mutations of shopping traits and impulsive buying, scams have flourished during the pandemic. As a result, each person was locked out of society into their homes for an extended period.
- Boredom crept into our minds, and many people spent their time browsing online web stores.
- This caused many buyers to fall trapped in counterfeit marketplaces. several people got scammed in the process.
- Reports showed that online scam complaints increased 500% after the pandemic started!
The primary reasons behind the growth of online scams are:
1. Social Media Shopping
- One of the critical influences that social media shopping has had on the marketplace is the birth of scams.
- Customers often stray away from genuine and established buying sites like Amazon or Flipkart.
- They rely on buying expensive products at a low cost from untrustworthy stores for online shopping in Australia. These stores neither have proper reviews on their page nor truthful contact information. Despite this fact, people get attracted to these web stores for the discounts or minimum fees.
- Social media shopping also includes buying from any individual creator on platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
- Supporting any small business is commendable, but one should always remain vigilant while doing so.
2. Poor Cyber Security In Transactions
Another major loophole that the Indian marketplace faces online is poor cyber security. There is negligible or no cost involved in posting an ad for social media shopping. As a result, buyers might fall trapped in these fraudulent advertisements and end up losing wealth.
If a seller wants to post an advertisement on Facebook, it requires almost zero expenses. The following factors helped fraudsters extract money from innocent people to fail to identify scams.
Any social media company like Facebook Or Instagram does not take the responsibility of verifying the genuineness of an advertisement or a product. Therefore, your responsibility as a consumer is to be careful about online shopping scams.
3. Naive and Unsuspecting Users
Scams can happen to anyone, be it a youngster or a middle-aged person. But it is a well-known fact that the older generation is more prone to scams as they are unsuspecting of online frauds.
Informed and vigilant users will always verify the company before buying a product. But several times, many unsuspecting customers are captivated by the low prices. Consequently, they buy from this scammer, and the product is of inferior quality.
How to Spot And Identify an Online Shopping Scam?
All of us are familiar with the axiom “Prevention is Better than Cure.” The same applies to any scam too. It is much better to save oneself from fraud during our pandemic shopping spree. Once a user gets scammed, they have to go through the cumbersome complaints and retrieval of money.
Thus it is best to spot these scams and avoid them. Here are some simple yet effective tips that can save you the hassle.
1. The Prices Offered by the Website are Meagre
If a branded product is offered at a considerable discount at a non-reputed website, it is a scam in all probability.
A user should keep in mind that no business will offer its products at a meagre rate.
2. You Have Never Heard Of This Website Before.
Customers are generally relaxed while shopping from reputed web stores. Therefore, if you spot a store you have never heard of before, that does not necessarily mean the store is a fake one.
Despite this, you should be highly cautious before buying from less popular stores. First, check the authenticity of the online shop before proceeding to payments.
3. The Contact Information Provided On The Page Is Invalid.
Another major cause of concern is fake contact information available on the web-store.
After getting scammed, the user cannot get in touch with the seller or express grievances; thus, it is essential to verify the contact details before making payments.
If the available contact information is false or not updated, you should decline the offer.
There are negligible customer reviews present on the site.
Once you visit a fake site, it is effortless to identify it as there are usually no customer reviews present. Even if a phony web store manages to acquire customer reviews, they are typically fabricated. You will identify and differentiate a genuine review from a fabricated one. A fake review will have extreme praises and usage of weird words.
How to Retrieve Money After You Have Been Scammed?
The first step to jump back after getting scammed is to keep a calm mind. Evaluate your options carefully. You can visit the site reportfraud.ftc.gov and register your complaint against the perpetrator.
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You must distance yourself from social media’s influence on online shopping. Before Proceeding with any payments verify the authenticity of the website. Hope this article helps you in verifying the authenticity of a fraud company.