With the Eid Al Adha holiday around the corner, and amid the current pandemic lockdown, many Iraqis will be forced to resort to digital shopping, both online and through mobile devices, to order gifts. Meanwhile, online scammers are taking advantage of consumers’ holiday cheer to execute intricate hacking and phishing schemes through fake websites.
Actions to Take to Combat Online Scammers
While Iraqis use digital means to shop for gifts and connect with friends and loved ones, cybercriminals are lying in wait to access valuable personal information.
Luckily, there are some simple actions shoppers can take to educate and protect themselves from the various ways cybercriminals or online scammers leverage social media, email and mobile devices to lure innocent victims.
Channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are commonly leveraged by fraudsters to scam consumers. Seemingly harmless actions including liking Fan Pages, clicking on fake alerts from friends’ accounts that have been hacked and acting on fake advertisements and discounts can result in stolen dollars and identities. Be suspicious of any deal that seems too good to be true – especially at extremely low prices—and try to verify offers with the retailer involved.
Shop Carefully Online:
Criminals leverage authentic-looking social ads and deals to take consumers to legitimate-looking, fake websites. Scammers use the checkout portals for these sites, to steal shoppers’ personal information including credit card numbers, phone numbers and home addresses. Be sure to shop at trusted and well-known e-commerce sites.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Coupon Websites in Dubai
As mobile penetration in Iraq is at an all-time high, scammers can lure shoppers into revealing information by pretending to be legitimate organizations via text message.
Check for Spelling:
Look for poor grammar in advertisements, websites and social posts – as it can be a surefire sign of a scam.
Avoid Clicking on Unknown Links:
Never click on a suspicious link, even if it appears to come on from someone you know.
Be Cautious with Email:
Be wary of fake messages that appear to come from your bank asking you to verify information about a purchase or visit a phoney webpage. Remember, real banks will not ask you to divulge personal information via email or text message.
Monitor your Money:
Think before sending money digitally. Use a safe and trackable payment method. Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) is a great way to send money to family and friends, but it should never be used to pay strangers.
If consumers follow the above tips, they will be one step ahead of potential scams from cybercriminals and will be able to safely focus on the joy of Eid Al Adha season.
Also Read: Top 5 Cheap Online Shopping Tips in Dubai
Scott Munden, CEO of International Smart Card, the company that issues and operates Qi Card