Offering safety tips for online shoppers-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
ONLINE shoppers should be skeptical, according to National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 supervising agent Bernard dela Cruz.
“We should be wary of buying any product in the Internet,” he said.
The NBI 7 recently arrested Mathwell Fernandez for allegedly selling fake Samsung Galaxy android phones in Sulit.com.ph, an online store.
Manufacturing fake products violates the Republic Act 8293, or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
Sulit.com.ph, though, posted on its website “buying safety tips” for customers:
“Know your seller. Take note of the username, mobile number, and other account details. Scammers constantly change their particulars to mislead interested buyers.
Know the seller’s complete name/business name, address and contact details. Make sure to take notice even the smallest of details. This could make a big difference and spare you from losing your hard-earned buck.
“Check the seller’s feedback badge. Another way of knowing the seller more closely is by checking his/her feedback badge. This shows past transactions and feedback and this could help you gauge whether or not the seller can be trusted.
“Understand payment terms. Do not give partial or full payment to the seller whom you are not 100 percent sure of. Do not be hasty. Remember once you send your payment, that’s it.
“Ask for actual product photo. Do not settle for product shots that are lifted from the internet. Always demand for the real photo of the product. This way, you’ll know what to expect.
‘Trust your instincts’
“Document conversations. Always save your exchange of messages with the seller.
Whether it be in the form of e-mail, private messages, SMS, Yahoo! Messenger or Facebook chat, make sure that you document everything. Doing this will make it easier for you to report eventual scammers.
“Trust your instincts. If you feel there is something amiss with the transaction, even if you can’t put your finger on what exactly that is, you back out.
“Treat Google as your friend. Google the name of the seller, their company name, or any information you know about the person you are transacting with.
“Deal locally. You can avoid being scammed 99 percent of the time if you deal with someone who is near your area. This way, you get to meet the seller in person and easily assess the quality of the product you want to buy before you part ways with your money.”
Online shopping, or online retailing, is a kind of electronic business, which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser.
Alternative names are: e-web-store, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, and virtual store, according to Wikipedia.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2013.