Fake Shopping website frauds
This a relatively new Modus Operandi that has been adopted by cyber fraudsters to dupe people online. There are several variants
of this cyber fraud. In one, the fraudsters create a genuine looking website of some known brand or even some mobile phone company such as Mi,
etc. and offer cheap products. They induce the unsuspecting customer to pay online and once the payment is done, the customer never gets the
The other variant is one in which the fraudsters do not imitate any other company/website but create a new website on which
the products are sold for a very cheap price. As above, the customer has to pay online but never gets the ordered product.
In another variant, the fake website has a policy in which, if the customer buys any product that costs more than a certain
amount, he/she becomes eligible for an expensive gift free of cost. As soon as the customer buys that product, he/she gets a call from the
“customer service” of the fake website telling him that he needs to pay a certain refundable amount towards handling, maintenance, GST, etc.
of the free gift that he is eligible for. The fraudsters, thus, induce the unsuspecting online buyer to deposit thousands of rupees to various
In yet another variant, the customer makes purchases online and pays for the same online too but the product that he/she
gets is usually something else; mostly a used version of the product that they had ordered.
1. Don’t fall prey to deep discounts, especially on aspirational products such as mobile phones, costly shoes,
leather accessories, electronic gadgets, etc. If the offer is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
2. Search on Internet about the credentials of the shopping portal. If a large number of reviews about the site
complain about non-delivery of products, then the site is probably fake.
3. If the site is offering Cash-on-Delivery, prefer that instead of affront payment, esp. for new, untested shopping portals.
4. A fraud shopping site not only cheats you through non-delivery of promised product, but it also captures your debit/credit
card credentials and may sell it on dark web. Hence, do not make payment using credit/debit card on untested e-commerce sites unless the payment
link is taking you to a verified, secure payment gateway.