No wonder, you have every right justification to shop online, reasons are obvious from great bargains to a variety of selections, online shopping in Pakistan is getting convenient, fast and pretty easy. Complete details in a glance, and sometimes comparing multiple products all at once are also appealing factors for all those consumers out there.
But what about those bad sheep in the flock, who are always there to mug and cheat you, be cautious about the phishing attacks where thieves tries to swindle you out of your sign-in and credit card credentials by pretending to be real website, or in some cases an online bank. Scared? Don’t worry follow these simple tips and be safe while shopping online.
1- Don’t Trust Everyone – Use Well Known Websites
So you plan to shop online today? you opened your favorite search engine, searched about the product, followed the first link and started shopping. NO, Avoid such practice; search results can be fiddled and lead you astray, especially if you are following a link on 2nd or 3rd page of your search results, if you know the site is reputed and famous you are in safe zone, and it’s less likely to be rip off. We all know kaymu.com, daraz.pk etc. are well known and established online marketplaces out there. Just take a little caution and double check spellings of the website address, a slight change in spelling might lead you to fraudulent website.
2- Is there a PadLock Symbol in the URL? – Look for it.
You will never know if the site is secured or not unless and until you see that small padlock in the URL bar of your browser, this represents that the site has been secured with SSL(Secure Socket Layer) or not, you don’t need to have knowledge about SSL, just need to make sure that it’s there, never buy anything online or give away your financial information on a site that doesn’t have SSL. This icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser.
3- Mode Of Payment – Cash on Delivery or Cards ?
Most of the online retailers out there offers various modes of payment for purchases, out of all those; two are most common while doing online shopping in Pakistan, one is Credit/Debit card(CC) and the other is Cash on Delivery (COD), both are secure and depends upon consumer’s convenience and preference, but to be safe and avoid any online payment fraud, stick to the COD mode of payment.
4- Reconciliation – Do it Immediately!
If you are using credit/debit cards for the payments, don’t wait for your monthly statement till the end of the month, go online to check and verify the transaction, if there is no online facility available, call your bank’s call center and check for your recent activity about the purchase you have made, also make sure that there are no fraudulent or extra charges pertaining to your purchase.
If you find something fishy, address the matter instantly, raise the matter with your bank , initiate a refund or any other suitable solution.
5- Avoid ’too-good-to-be-true offers
If an e-store is offering you too much at a very low price, it is suspicious. Dig in for more details about the merchant, about the product they are offering , whether you will ever receive the item or not, whether the item is actually the brand shown or a replica, item is not damaged or faulty , or if you will be able to return the item. What happens in such cases is sometimes disreputable stores try to cheat amateur consumers by using these tricks.
6- Mobile vs Web Browser
Thanks to the smartphone world and the introduction of fast 3g/4g connections offered by Telecom companies, that almost every other person have a mobile phone which has given a boost to the trend of online shopping in Pakistan, not to mention that all those famous online stores have their mobile applications available in app stores, shopping using mobile application is much more safer and secure compare to do it in traditional web browser way. The trick is to use the apps provided directly by the retailers like daraz.pk, kaymu.pk, buyingpk etc.
7- Avoid public or unsecure Wi-Fi connection
It’s always safe to use a trusted personal computer to make online purchases, with recent increased usage of online shopping in Pakistan, the risk of fraud has also been increased, to keep yourself protected always use secure WI-FI connection, don’t risk yourself by shopping online on public/free unsecure WIFI. If you happen to use a public computer always remember to logout and close all sessions of all logged in stores and websites.