News Local Online purchases and fraud: What to know to avoid becoming a victim

Online purchases and fraud: What to know to avoid becoming a victim

The police issued on Thursday a set of guidelines to help citizens avoid online fraud when conducting purchases online.

1. Αlways buy from reliable sources

Buying products from an unknown source is always risky. It is therefore preferable to buy from websites we have used again or for which we have enough information proving their reliability.

But even in those cases, it is advisable to check reviews from other customers before placing an order.

It is also recommended to use domestic shopping sites (when possible) as this would make it easier to resolve any issues that may arise.

Before purchasing from a site, ensure that safe protocols are in place for sending data; ensure the lock symbol is in place at the left of the URL bar and that HTTPS and SSL protocols are used.

Don’t forget to leave your own review on the site describing your shopping experience. This will help others avoid any bad sites in the future.

2. Pay cash on delivery

When buying online from a private seller, opt for paying cash on delivery where possible.

3. Pay with a credit card

By using a credit card when shopping online you increase chances of being refunded in the case of fraud, as most cards have a strong customer protection policy. If you don’t receive your product, the card publisher is likely to compensate you.

But we should use our card very cautiously. If you don’t intend to buy a product or service, do not submit your card details with any website.

Many online stores urge customers to save their payment details, but be careful before making this decision and make sure you understand the risks this involves.

If you are purchasing subscription services, make sure you know how the service can be terminated before inputting your card details.

Never share your card number, PIN or any other details for your card through email.

Avoid purchases through websites that don’t use full authentication (Verified by VISA/ MasterCard Secure Code).

4. Only pay from a safe device and secure internet connection

Before completing a purchase, ensure that your internet connection as well as your device are safe.

Avoid using free or public Wi-Fi networks and keep your device’s operating system and security software up-to-date.

5. Be wary of suspicious ads, pop-up windows and dubious offers

Be wary of suspicious ads and offers as they may be scams.

In addition, if a pop-up window claims that you have won a prize, be wary of clicking on it as you may end up downloading malware.

6. Κeep the receipt

When buying products or services online make sure you save the receipt or other proof of your purchase as you may need to retrieve these later to prove payment or the terms and conditions of our purchase.

7. What do I do if I don’t receive the products?

Reach out to the seller. If you don’t receive a reply, contact your bank.

If you suspect fraud, contact the police.

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