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Top 5 Risk Factors Involved with Online Shopping

Do not fall into a pit of scams by shopping online from eCommerce marketplaces or independent stores! Modern life is now incomplete without the use of smartphones, tablets and laptops. With everyone using gadgets and super fast internet, the interest of online users for online shopping is increasing day by day. The walk-in shops are gradually getting replaced by virtual shops.

top 5 risk factors involved with online shopping

Is online shopping risk free? No, it is not for sure. New technology and new experiences do come with challenges. Let’s find out the risk factors involved with Online shopping from selling platforms like eBay, TrueGether and some others.

Day in and day out hundreds of online shopping sites are mushrooming throughout the world. Are all these sites reliable? You enter your credit / debit card details, address and phone number while performing any online transaction and if these are entered on any of the fake sites existing across the virtual world, you can easily fall prey to cyber crime. Most of these e-commerce sites come with super deals which are tough to avoid and once they have recorded your information, they disappear in a few weeks.

Fake sites gain from this in many different ways. They take the money which is given for the product and then vanish without sending you the product at all. This kind of phishing, hacking or scam activities go on top during major festivities when people rush to grab the great deals. Sometimes you get emails with links of sites offering extravagant deals to entice you. When you click the link it takes you to a dull or blank site; in the meantime you have already become a prey to malware.

  • Fear of Identity Theft

Even if the site is reliable you can not be one hundred percent sure that it is encrypted. Shopping on an unencrypted e-commerce site does mean that you are giving your personal details to strangers and hackers who are waiting for you to take certain actions by providing important identity information. So even if the site is trustworthy it may not comply with the latest IT security rules.

Another problem is getting your email box filled with spam emails. Some online shopping sites do not care about the privacy rules. After you enter your details these may go around the website and your email might overflow with junk mail or you may receive loads of unnecessary calls.

  • Buying Fake Products

This is another issue with online shopping. How will you know if the branded smartphone, dress or handbag which you have just added to your e-cart is the original product? If the site is unreliable then there is no way that you can replace or return the product and the money spent is a complete loss.

Are you finding that rare accessory online but not at any other walk-in retail store or the brick and mortar shops? The product might be defective. While some of the e-commerce stores assure that if the product is defective there is a 30 days return policy, when actually the product is found defective the buyer is either asked to contact the manufacturer directly or wait for more than a month to get a refurbished item.

Another risk is you might not be buying from the authentic dealer of the product. This kind of market is known as the ‘Grey Market’ and the products sold here might not be covered under any warranty.

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  • False Product Reviews

While online shopping gives you the option to compare different products and choose the best, you cannot touch or get a hands on or demo of the product. So how will you understand if this product is actually matching your requirements? People mostly depend on online reviews to choose the right product. But are these reviews authentic? Not always; so be aware of super-positive product reviews.

  • Lack of Transparency

The deal was great right? But is it the same price which you are paying after ordering the product? Not always; on many sites the taxes, delivery charges and additional courier charges when trying to return the product are not mentioned clearly when selecting the item. So it is better to keep expectations low.

Online shopping may be quick, easy and flexible but at the same time some fraudulent activities like the ones mentioned above is making virtual shopping risky. So research well, checkout the authenticity of the e-commerce marketplace sites like eBay or individual stores before making a purchase on it.

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Anthea Scordilis

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