20 December 2017
Shop securely online
The sales are about to start! To avoid crowds and queues, maybe you're planning to make your purchases on the Internet this year? Watch out for fake online shops! We'll give you some tips on how to spot them and avoid being scammed
Fake online shops: how do you spot them?
Did you know that some online shops are fake sites created by cybercriminals? These sites are hard to recognise, because they copy the look and even sometimes use the name of well-known retailers. So how can you identify them? These tips may help:
- Beware of sites that display much lower prices than elsewhere. There's a very good chance that the products sold are counterfeits, stolen goods, or worse - fake products that will never reach you!
- Spelling or grammar errors may also be a sign that a site is fake.
- If you come across a site that bears a very strong resemblance to a well-known online shop but with a slight difference in the name, be careful!
You may be in the habit of shopping on https://www.zalando.com. If you find a site that claims to be Zalando and has the address http://store-zalandocom.com, don't trust it!
How can you shop securely?
You're now able to spot fake websites very easily if you visit them. Sounds good! But it's even better to avoid them. Follow these tips to shop securely online.
- As far as possible, shop on sites that you already know, that you've purchased from before and trust.
- When you visit a new site, check whether the postal address is legitimate and whether there's a phone number for service-related questions. If in doubt, phone to make sure you're talking to a human being.
- Another good way of finding out if the site is legitimate is to paste its name or URL into a search engine and see what web users have to say about it. Caution: a lack of comments may also be a sign that the site is of recent date, and may not be a reliable indication.
- Make sure that you're surfing with an encrypted connection. To check this, look for a lock symbol or "https" in green at the start of the site's URL.
What card should you use for online shopping?
You can pay for your online purchases with any bank card (payment card or credit card).
Keep an eye on your bank card statements to spot suspect transactions, especially after buying items on the Internet. If you want to query a transaction, call Worldline on 02 205 85 85 or make an appointment on the www.macarte.be (FR) or www.mijnkaart.be (NL) site. If you suspect fraud, block the cardin question by calling CARD STOP on 070 344 344.