Online shopping has become the new trend and while we get loads of offers and discount, there are also hidden lures and traps. We would like to share such an incident that happened in the recent past while shopping from Amazon India. We are also sharing some tips to be safe while shopping online.

Intro

New e-commerce sites and sellers are sprouting like mushrooms. It’s definitely hard to find a genuine among them. Even in trusted e-commerce platforms the importer, seller, and logistics can commit fraud. In most cases, the responsible will try to wash their hands off, and the customer might be the only one suffering losses.

Incident

In the past few weeks, we noticed huge discounts in some of the gadgets viz Tic watches, portable HDDs, etc listed in Amazon India. These were offered by new sellers namely Cloud fair [link], New Cart, etc. We contacted those sellers via Amazon to confirm this discount. Their reply was plain and simple, it’s their promotion. So as a regular online shopper, we went forward by placing an order on COD.

A New Type Of Online Shopping Scam Is Here - Buyers Beware!

These sellers created such a hype with these discounts and Amazon got notified by regular buyers. So Amazon started cancelling orders from their side. Upon contacting Amazon, we got a reply that it was a listing error by the seller, the seller is notified, and all orders were cancelled. Now, this didn’t wrap things up.

Conning

Two to three days after the event, customers who placed the order on Amazon started receiving out for delivery notification via SMS. Delhivery wasn’t the only logistics chosen by the seller, there were others too.

“Your OLMARTESHOP shipment with AWB Number 135171xxxxxxx & Order no. 9090xxxx is out for delivery. Please keep Rs 2xx9.0 cash ready. Track your shipment here: http://www.delhivery.com/track/package/135171xxxxxxx”

In our case, up on receiving the SMS, out of suspicion we called the courier guy. He said that the package felt empty, so we asked him to return the package. Now, some of the other buyers were also lucky enough to check the packages before accepting or making payment. Still, some took the risk of accepting the package and what happened with them was bitter. When these customers unboxed their packages, they found duplicate pen drive, cheap wristwatches and even empty boxes.

Now those who rejected the package saved some trouble and others were doomed. Many of these customers contacted Amazon India and got the reply that Amazon is helpless regarding this since the orders were already cancelled. All those who paid online will get the refund. So, who shall we blame here?

Flashback

Even though Amazon cancelled the orders, these fraud sellers gathered the address of customers. They then dispatched COD packages quoting the value and order info which were cancelled by Amazon. Customers who weren’t aware of the cancellation accepted the packages. To add a random, new or careless shopper may not update himself with the status of order placed. Those who were aware of the cancellation mostly denied it. Some accepted thinking that they have hit a lotto, instead they hit a snag!

Tips For Buyers

Customers should take caution while making online purchases and payments. Below are some general tips to keep in mind.

  • Use your personal devices with security software to shop online.
  • Use strong passwords for your devices and shopping profiles.
  • Always buy from trusted e-commerce websites.
  • Prefer a fulfilled, assured, or authorized seller in these platforms.
  • Avoid new sellers or sellers with poor rating.
  • Use credit card with low limit, a dispute and recovery is easier in this case.
  • For online payments, ensure that the payment page is secure.
  • If you notice any fraudulent transaction, contact your bank to block it.
  • Keep a soft or hard copy of the order and payment details.
  • Reject unsealed, torn or damaged packages.
  • For COD orders, weigh the package to match with the logistic details on box.
  • If possible check the contents before accepting, record it.
  • Make an unboxing video of your product in first hand.
  • Get in touch with the customer support, if there is something fishy.
  • Proceed legally, if you have enough evidence (we can’t provide advice).

Final Remark

e-Commerce platforms must ensure that every new seller joining is genuine and isn’t a repeated fraud. They also should ensure tight security with the logistic partners. They also must be answerable to events in which their platform acts as tool for these scammers. The incident mentioned in this post isn’t fictitious and is the biggest fraud happening now on Amazon India. Google “OLMARTESHOP” for more clarity on this incident, you will find videos and forum discussion on the same. Hope this write-up helped you, Peace!

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