How to make safe purchases online

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Online commerce grows at an unstoppable rate. According to data from the CNMC, the current volume almost triples the data of 5 years ago. For this reason, it is increasingly important to take precautions to make secure purchases online.

Main fraud in online purchases

Although buying online is generally very safe, and it is likely that you have never suffered any of these scams, it is convenient to be attentive to the most common especially during Christmas shopping.


The pishing: What is it and how to avoid it

The phishing is a fraud technique that consists of impersonating the identity of a trusted entity to trick you and steal your personal data. While it is not a new technique, it is becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect.

The most common form of phishing It is done through email, although it can also be an SMS or a call. You receive a message with very attractive offers or discount coupons from stores you trust, but they redirect you to a fraudulent website where they can collect your data or even make payments without knowing that this is not the real page of the business.

fake online stores

Fake online stores

Fake websites are pages that simulate a real appearance behind which a fraudulent activity hides. These websites do not have any type of commercial support nor, of course, legal validity.

To avoid incurring in this type of fraud, it is advisable that you always buy on trustworthy official pages with a certain reputation and prestige. Be wary of stores that do not offer you information about the company behind (such as owner, NIF / CIF, tax address, conditions of sale, returns and claims or legal references) and those that have too cheap prices or not very credible offers.

Second hand sale

Second-hand online buying and selling

The sale of second-hand products through the internet has not stopped growing in recent years. However, this sales process usually occurs between individuals, without the intervention of a company, which can pose obvious risks of fraud: in the identity of the seller, in the description of the characteristics of the product or in the contact mechanisms, among many others.

As far as possible, you must be attentive to who sells the product. Normally, users leave positive and negative evaluations to sellers and, even, platforms often reward good sellers with their seal of trust.

It is also important to be careful when selling, as some users will offer to pay with reversible payment systems, so that when they receive the product they cancel it.

Tips for making safe purchases online

In addition to being aware of possible fraud, there are a number of common sense tips that can help you when it comes to making safe purchases over the internet.

Be wary of offers

Be suspicious of products with significant discounts

As tempting as it sounds, it is better to be wary of products with almost impossible discounts in their price.

Exaggerated promotions are a good bait to attract reckless buyers and most likely you are facing a fraudulent website. Therefore, you should always buy in stores that you know or, if not, look for opinions on the web about that page.

Secure online shopping

Buy on secure pages

To check without a page it is safe you must confirm that a padlock appears in the browser together with the URL. However, more and more fraudulent websites get this certificate, so it is also important to check that the store offers an easy way to contact in case of incident and the tax information (such as the address or the NIF) is public and easily visible.

Protect your device

Protect your device and use a secure connection

To make purchases over the internet, it is essential to use a secure connection and that the device is properly configured and protected. To do this, there are a series of security tips recommended by Incibe:

  • Install an antivirus tool and analyze your device to avoid possible threats.
  • Check installed programs and apps and eliminate those that you do not use. The more you have, the more difficult it will be to have your device protected.
  • Do not install applications that are not from the official application stores (Google Play or App Store): these applications have not passed the strict security controls of these stores.
  • Verify that both the operating system and the apps are duly updated.
  • Avoid using computers, tablets or public or shared smartphones to access your bank accounts or to buy online.
  • Never use an open Wi-Fi network, since third parties can intercept your communications.
Secure payment methods

Use secure payment methods

Whenever you can, it is best to use your credit card to make purchases over the internet. Most of them include insurance with which you have a better chance of recovering your money in case of fraud.

In addition, when entering your bank details, check that you are in front of a secure payment gateway and review your purchase before completing the order.

In any case, if you finally complete your purchase and after the estimated delivery time the product does not arrive, or the store does not respond to your messages or does not offer convincing answers, you can contact your bank to see if it is a fraudulent operation and try to fix the problem or prevent future improper charges.

If you follow these simple steps, you can make secure purchases online with all the peace of mind in the world.

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