Shop smarter this Diwali: 8 ways to shield yourself from online scammers

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a time of joy and celebration. It is also a time when many people enjoy online shopping for gifts, clothes and home decorations. However, with the increase in online shopping, there has also been an increase in online fraud and scams.

To keep yourself safe while shopping online during the festive period, it is important to take certain precautions. Here are some tips to protect yourself from Diwali online shopping scams.

Shop from trusted websites

One of the first things to do while shopping online during Diwali is to make sure you are shopping from reliable websites. Stick to reputable e-commerce platforms. Look for websites with reliable payment gateways or banking systems. Avoid clicking on random pop-up ads or suspicious links that may redirect you to fraudulent websites.

Check for secure payment options

Before making any online purchase, always ensure that the website offers secure payment options. Look for websites with reliable payment gateways or banking systems. Avoid websites that only ask for cash on delivery or wire transfers as these methods are more susceptible to fraud.

Be wary of phishing emails and messages

During the Christmas season, scammers and fraudsters often send out phishing emails and messages offering discounts and special deals. These emails and messages may appear to be from legitimate retailers, but the links or attachments they contain may be malicious. Be careful when clicking on any links or downloading any attachments. Always verify the authenticity of the email or message by contacting the retailer directly through their official website or customer service helpline.

Use strong and unique passwords

When shopping online, it is essential to use strong and unique passwords for your accounts. Avoid using common words or easily guessable information such as birthdays or phone numbers. Instead, use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to create a strong password. Additionally, be sure to use different passwords for different accounts to reduce the risk of one account being compromised.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts. Enable this feature when possible, as it requires you to provide a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone, before logging into your account. This can help prevent unauthorized access to your personal information.

Beware of fake websites and deals

During Diwali, scammers may create fake websites imitating popular retailers to lure unsuspecting shoppers. Always double-check the website URL to make sure it matches the legitimate retailer’s website. Look for any spelling or grammatical errors, poor website design, or unusual payment methods, as these may be signs of a fake website. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true, as they could be a ploy to steal your money or personal information.

Keep your devices and software up to date

Update your devices and software regularly to ensure you have the latest security patches installed. This includes your operating system, web browser, anti-virus software, and other applications. Updates often address vulnerabilities that fraudsters can exploit, so staying up-to-date is essential to protecting your personal information.

Monitor your financial statements

Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements during and after the festive season. Look for any unauthorized transactions and report them immediately to your bank or card issuer. Many banks also offer SMS or email alerts for transactions made with your card, so sign up for these services to receive real-time notifications of any activity on your account.

Finally, while online shopping during Diwali can be convenient and exciting, it is important to be vigilant and protect yourself from frauds and scams. By following these precautions, you can enjoy a safe and secure online shopping experience during the festival. Happy shopping and happy Diwali!

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Updated: 07 November 2023, 01:57 PM IST

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