If it’s too good to be true, it probably is

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Ever hear the phrase “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”? By definition this phrase is used to describe situations which are so good that it is barely believable that such a situation is possible or even likely.

Still confused? Think about it like this – would you buy branded goods at an unbelievably low price from the back of a van? What if you saw that smartphone you’ve always wanted, being sold at a night market? The device is presented in its original box, with an unbroken manufacturers seal, all completely wrapped up in plastic, for half its current retail price? For some, this would seem like the equivalent of finding the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, only to eventually realise that they’ve been duped!

The difference between these two scenarios is the presentation of the business and the products being sold. You could even argue that in today’s marketplace, it is the responsibility of the buyer to test the product first before committing to the purchase. The same however cannot be said about the online marketplace. 

Statistics for Online Shopping Risks - Singapore

ESET recently released the results of its ESET 2018 APAC Consumer Behaviour Survey. The survey revealed results that reinforce more than 1200 cases e-commerce scams that were reported that taking  place on the online marketplace platform Carousell. That was an increase of 58 per cent in comparison to the previous year. The total amount cheated also went up by 43.1 per cent from SGD650,000 to SGD930,000 in losses – the largest amount cheated in a single case was SGD50,000.

Singaporeans are more concerned with social media platforms being the place which cyberattacks originate from. Only 7% are concerned with e-commerce and online shopping platforms being the origins of cyberattacks.

In today’s e-commerce market, where online shopping has become extremely convenient and easy, ESET has compressed five simple tips to SPARE you the heartache.

S - Secure. Before you begin entering your payment details into a website, you first need to ensure that the website uses encryption. Look for a small padlock symbol in the address bar and a web address beginning with https://. Currently, based on an ESET survey, only 22% of Singaporean’s look for this when shopping online.

P - PIN codes or online banking passwords are something that you will never be asked to share or divulge when making a payment online.

- Ask yourself, ask your friends, ask your family, whoever it may be, but ask someone for a second opinion. At the end of the day, the more you question the purchase without rushing into it, the better the outcome.

R - Reputation plays a big role when shopping online. Website credibility was deemed the second highest consideration, after variety of products, among Singaporeans as part of their considerations when shopping online.

E - Examinethe goods if you have a chance to. At the end of the day, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to ensure the quality of the goods being purchased is up to the standards which they are agreeing to pay for.

Overall, beyond acronyms detailing good online shopping habits, the one thing that we want you to remember after reading this article is “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. Think twice before you checkout and keep your wallet secure from any digital pickpockets.