PNP Anti-Cybercrime group shares signs how to spot online shopping scams

May 30, 2023 - 4:35 PM
Online shopping
Southeast Asia's internet economy is expected to exceed $240 billion by 2025. (The STAR/File photo)

The police warned Filipinos about the prevalence of different online shopping scams.

The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) enumerated signs that an online shop could be a scam.

“KaTropa, ikaw ba ay mahilig mag-online shopping? Kasama sa mga online shopping scam ang mga scammer na nagpapanggap bilang mga lehitimong online seller. Mag-ingat!” the post reads.

When online shopping, the police said that Filipino online shoppers should be cautious about the following:

  • Online sellers are persistent with immediate “full payment” through electronic funds transfer or wire service
  • New merchants without customer reviews on their shops
  • Limited or insufficient information about the merchant’s products and services, and other necessary guidelines
  • Limited or insufficient information about customer data privacy, communication, and terms and conditions
  • Products that are sold at very low prices

PNP-ACG encouraged customers to only visit official stores and authorized resellers.

“Siguraduhing bumili lamang sa mga official store, authorized outlet at official reseller,” the authorities said.

“Kapag gumagamit ng mga retail na website, alamin kung sino ang iyong kinakaharap,” it added.

Moreover, the PNP-ACG also advised shoppers to be more vigilant and careful in dealing with online sellers on different platforms.

“Suriin kung ang website o social media page ay may refund policy at kung ang mga patakaran nito ay mukhang patas,” it said.

“Iwasan ang anumang pakikipag-ayos sa isang di kilalang indibidwal na humihingi ng paunang bayad sa pamamagitan ng money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency,” the police added.

Many Filipinos continue to prefer online shopping than physical stores despite the easing of travel restrictions.

This can be seen in the growth of online purchases during shopping festivals held by Lazada, Shopee and other e-commerce platforms.

Local shoppers also prefer the use of mobile phones to desktop computers in checking out their shopping carts, according to a recent study by market aggregator iPrice Group.

RELATED: Most Filipinos are using phones than desktops for online shopping —report Rundown: Electronics, baby wipes enjoy surge in Lazada’s ‘11.11’ sale 

Meanwhile, the PNP-ACG and the Securities and Exchange Commission previously identified three online lending platforms that allegedly harass and threaten their clients if they fail to pay their debts on time.  These are Loanmoto, Lalapeso and WeLoan.

Cops urged victims of these platforms to file complaints by messaging their social media accounts or calling their hotlines.

READ: ‘Maging mapanuri’: PNP’s preventive tips vs illegal lending apps amid harassment reports