Ecommerce websites are all the rage around the world today, and millions of goods exchange hands over the festive season in particular. There are several popular sites that a majority of people prefer shopping over; however, some people also choose some relatively unknown sites due to bigger discounts or more enticing deals. This may not be such a great idea after all, keeping in mind the latest news that has come to light about a global crackdown by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit on more than 37,000 fake shopping websites across 27 countries.
These efforts were not taken in isolation and actively involved the assistance of local law enforcement agencies as well, notably Europol and Interpol were also involved. Most of the sites were discovered to be selling counterfeit goods and were then subsequently shut down due to their fraudulent nature. These efforts have been regularly undertaken by the HSI and this is the 6th year in a row of its operations.
Some of the popular and notable fake goods that were discovered to be sold by these fake shopping sites were as follows:
- Headphones and earphones
- Sports clothing and shoes
- Mobile phones
- Consumer electronics
- Luxury goods
A lot of these sites used a simple method of lowering the prices of their products in order to entice users and trick them into making purchases over their fake portals. This also led to countless other cases of data theft, privacy violation and credit card fraud. You can read more about this global crackdown here.
7 Reliable Tips for Safe Online Shopping
In the meantime, whenever you decide to shop online, keep these 5 safety tips in mind and you’ll not have to worry about getting your safety or privacy compromised.
- Carefully read product reviews and site reviews before purchasing
- From an unknown site, always choose the Cash On Delivery (COD) option
- Keep a regular check on your bank statements and keep SMS updates ON
- Be aware that deals that appear too good to be true are usually fraudulent in nature
- Watch out for the HTTPS prefix and the lock symbol before making a purchase
- Don’t click on advertising links directly from emails that reach your inbox
- Keep a different card with limited account balance that you use only for online shopping
For more such safety tips to preserve your online privacy, read these 45 killer security tips.