How to avoid getting ripped off
By Jonathan Smit
With the increased threat of Covid-19, South Africans are encouraged to stay home and shop online. Over the past year, local retailers have improved the security and convenience of their e-commerce platforms, allowing customers to avoid exposure through queues and physical contact. Online stores and shopping apps are seeing record order volumes due to the third wave of Covid-19.
To avoid digital payment frauds and scams, here is the list of safety precautions to follow when shopping through your smartphone or desktop.
Before making an online purchase, your first priority is to verify the legitimacy of the merchant you are buying from. Doing your research ahead of time can save you from trying to get your money back after you pay, which is considerably more difficult.
Make purchases only through secure websites: Make sure you are in a secure domain before entering confidential information such as your payment information. Look for the “S” in HTTPS at the beginning of the website URL, which is in the address bar at the top of your browser. Depending on the browser you are using, you will see a padlock on the left side of the address bar
Read the Return and Refund Policy: The merchant is responsible for processing your order. If a problem arises with your order, for example if you decide to cancel your order or if it never arrives, you should know what your rights are and how you can expect the merchant to help you.
Read Customer Reviews: Take a look at the comments on the merchant’s social media pages and read customer reviews on Google to make sure the company has a good history of delivering products as promised. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Check using secure payment options: Check out notices about available payment options before committing to pay. You should always choose to checkout and pay with a payment method you know and trust.
Don’t store your credit card information in a browser: While shopping online, you may be prompted to save your card information. It could be a pop-up message in your browser or while checking out on an e-commerce website. By doing this, you could risk exposing your cardholder details to other users of the device or put yourself at risk if the device is stolen.
Record Cardholder Information on Verified Payment Card Industry (PCI) Merchant Websites: Many websites offer the option of registering your information with one-click payment ease. »Tokenized to speed up the payment process for future purchases. This is considered safe when the site you are using is PCI accredited or passes those requirements to a PCI DSS Level 1 payment processor.
In addition to providing a convenient and fast way to shop, online shopping gives customers the ability to support their favorite local stores without putting anyone at risk. It is up to us, as consumers, to play our part in the fight against the third wave of Covid-19 – this is one of the easiest ways to do it.
Jonathan Smit is the Managing Director and Founder of PayFast.
* The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the IOL or the titles sites.