As online shopping continues to grow rapidly in Malaysia, we’ve written a few safety tips to keep in mind.
1. Compare Prices
Do a little homework before making your purchase, especially if it is a large sum to avoid impulsive purchases. Compare it with several other websites that offer the same item or similar item to learn the current market rate. Be extra cautious of heavily discounted offers as they may offer replica products instead of genuine ones – this is most commonly observed for luxury goods online scams
2. Read Reviews and Testimonials
Most online shopping websites offer feedback from their customers to share about their customer service and product quality. Read through the comments.
If this is not available, the brand’s Facebook page and other social media channels are helpful sources for checking credibility. For example, through the online shops’ social media channels,you can check the number of followers, who is following (for example, if you have a Facebook connection following the online shop’s Facebook page, you’ll be able to see that connection on the shop’s Facebook page) and the conversations occurring. Feel free to also post your own questions in the brands’ social media channels to see how quickly and professionally they respond.
3. Check Company Backgrounds
As of 1st July 2013, all online marketplace operators in Malaysia are required to, among others, provide their full details, terms of conditions of sale, rectification of errors and maintenance of records under the Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transactions) Regulations 2012 (“Regulation”), a regulation under the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Read more here). This will ensure that the business is operating legitimately and actions can be taken against them should they participate in e-commerce fraud. Therefore, make sure to check some of this out before making a purchase.
4. Check Security Icons
Look for VeriSign of Webtrust logos when you are using an e-commerce shopping cart. Additionally, check the security of your browser by examining the url address bar to see that it states “https” (rather than just “http”) or that is has the lock icon. This quick check is crucial, especially for websites that involve online payment, to avoid online identity theft and other forms of cyber crime
Example of VeriSign logo:
5. Transfer Money Online Wisely
Double check all the payment details before transferring the necessary funds to ensure it is being directed to its intended recipient. If there is something fishy about the information provided, abort the transaction immediately.
For those who opt for manual online bank transfer, always be sure to login to your online bank account via the legitimate URL. Never click on any links claiming to originate from the bank that will redirect you to the online banking site or give out your login details online. Remember also that bank officials only get in touch with customers via phone and will never ask for your login details.
6. Read Terms & Conditions
Read up on the shipping and returns policy to ensure that you are fully informed before agreeing to make a purchase online. This information will come in handy on what action to take with any lost parcels, damaged goods or products received that do not match the description online. Some online marketplaces, such as Lelong.my and Ebay, have buyer protection programs to protect the interests of the shoppers from fraud cases.
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