Consumer Day: Learn how to shop online safely

Consumer Day celebrated on March 15th, is an opportunity to save on purchases in physical and virtual stores. The date, already known as the second Black Friday of Brazilian retail, also exalts access to information, security, and the right to choose, with a whole week of promotions and special offers. However, with the advent of social distance due to the pandemic, e-commerce is becoming a great option for consumers.
Buying online can be an easy and practical task, but for consumers to have a safe experience, it is important to observe best practices, avoiding possible fraud. Thinking about sharing information about protections and generating well-being for users and consumers, OLX, one of the largest online buying and selling platforms in the country, this year launched a page on its platform with safety indications, bringing lessons on how to do it. secure purchases in online environments, identify scams, and, consequently, avoid them. Check out the complete content at:
“It is necessary for us to adopt a safe routine for use on digital platforms. Understanding the online purchase and sale process is essential for the preservation of personal data and for making the purchase and sale of items in a safe way”, explains Beatriz Soares, Director of Product and Operations at OLX.
Check out the main cyber crimes that happen on the different platforms in Brazil today and how to avoid them:
• Whatsapp scam- This is today one of the most common and most publicized scams, but it still makes many victims in Brazil. Fraudsters identify the victim’s cell phone number and send a message through the messaging app requesting data, with the excuse that they need to confirm information, and then ask the person to send a code that they will receive via SMS. With this information in hand, the scammer can install the person’s Whatsapp on another cell phone and block access to the application by the user, accessing their contact list. After this step, send messages asking for money to friends and family.
How to prevent: Enable 2-step verification in the messaging application, this increases security and makes cloning more difficult. Never share security codes received by SMS and, if in doubt, access shopping sites through official channels.
• Account Rental – Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to apply scams. In Account Rent, the scammer gets in touch with users offering an amount to rent their account on e-commerce platforms. Attracted by the earning opportunity, people provide username and password. However, accounts are used to scam other consumers. Users should be aware that, in addition to violating the rules for using the platforms, they are responsible for using their accounts and, in turn, may be criminally indicted for crimes committed with their use.
How to prevent: Never share your login and password with third parties, choose strong passwords and change them regularly, and immediately inform the platforms if you have been approached.
• Cloned profile – In this modality, the scammer makes a page identical to that of companies on social networks and attracts people with false draws, advantages, or even identifying themselves as a problem-solving channel on the original site. With this, it asks for data and information from the user and uses it to apply scams on behalf of the person.
How to prevent: Communicate with companies only through official channels and check if the company’s page on social networks contains the verification seal, which guarantees that the account has been verified by the website. When in doubt, check via the company’s official website or app and report it in case of suspected fraud.
• False Payment – The false payment scam happens when a person, who pretends to be a buyer, demonstrates interest in a product sold on e-commerce platforms and closes the deal. However, it uses tampered with or false payment slips to complete the purchase. A variation of this scam is when the fraudster asks the seller to advertise the item on another e-commerce platform. Usually, the order also comes with a promise of being able to pay an amount above what was advertised, informing, for example, that there is a balance available on other platforms.
How to prevent: Before sending the product, confirm with your bank or the platform, when using the website’s payment intermediation, if the amount is already available in your account. Be wary of trading via email or messaging applications, keeping trading in the buying and selling platform environment. Pay attention if the supposed buyer shows a hurry or impatience to pick up the traded product. Scammers can also pretend to be platform representatives by sending e-mails from similar addresses or messages using the platform’s logo; be suspicious and contact the company through official channels. Also, pay attention to the email addresses sent, check if the email domain is the official company. Only deliver the product after the payment has been confirmed on your account.
• Intermediary – It is one of the best-known scams in the process of buying and selling cars and reaches sellers and buyers of vehicles. In the middleman scam, fraudsters use third-party advertisements to trade used or used vehicles, using information from real advertisements and receiving payment from the interested buyer for the vehicle.
How to prevent: Avoid intermediaries, always negotiate directly with the buyer/seller. Be wary of very attractive offers and vehicles with prices below market values. Pay attention to conversations where the interested party, posing as the seller/buyer, says he is negotiating the vehicle for a friend/relative with whom he owes a debt. The transfer of the vehicle must be carried out at a notary’s office. The buyer must only transfer the amount at the time of signing the document. The seller, on the other hand, must transfer the vehicle only with confirmation of receipt of the money. When receiving a bank transfer, you should always confirm with the bank that the money is already in the account.

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