Online shopping is practical, but unfortunately it also magically attracts fraudsters. They always set new traps when buying online.
Berlin – Shopping on the Internet is convenient and practical. It saves time, you don't have to go into town to shop and you can concentrate on your needs in peace. But some fraudsters take advantage of this and always set new traps when shopping on the net. We'll tell you how to recognize the traps and protect yourself here.
Fake shops and fake Klarna: Internet fraudsters are so brazen – How to protect yourself
Whether it's phishing on fake payment sites or rip-offs via alleged trust companies, there are many online shopping scams. And they are becoming more and more sophisticated. An example of this from the recent past is provided by the consumer protection portal "Watchlist Internet": Fraudsters not only build fake shops, but also imitate the payment service Klarna in a deceptively real way. Identity theft is also a recurring issue.
Online shopping is practical, but unfortunately it also magically attracts fraudsters. They always set new traps when buying online. © Jens Büttner/dpa/Archive
The user then innocently enters his online banking access data for the supposed instant transfer, which are then fished out by the criminals. Important: In this case, the Internet addresses when paying would have to be "Sofort.com" or "Klarna.com".
Otherwise, fraudsters will be at work, who will probably also try to steal a TAN from their victims in order to be able to steal money by bank transfer. According to the experts, they could, for example, pretend to be employees of the house bank on the phone.
So brazenly long Internet fraudsters too: Names and prices can expose fake online shops
So it's better to identify fake online shops beforehand. But how? If you shop in a shop for the first time, you should enter the name into a search engine. Have other customers had bad experiences or are there already warning reports? Are the prices too good to be true? Then they are often not. There is a new EU rule that is intended to better protect consumers when shopping online.
And take a look at the imprint: "95 percent of fake shops have no imprint at all. And if there is no imprint, it's also hands off," advises Thorsten Behrens of "Watchlist Internet". Caution should also be exercised with legal forms such as "Ltd." or a conspicuously large number of linguistic or spelling errors. An address check can also be worthwhile: Is the company listed on online maps?
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After all, all alarm bells should ring if a shop offers a whole range of payment options at the beginning, but in the end suddenly only the prepayment option remains and all secure payment methods such as invoices or direct debits have disappeared. Then you should definitely cancel the purchase and under no circumstances transfer money in advance.
In the case of classifieds, communication only via the platform: How to protect yourself from Internet fraudsters
And what about classifieds portals? "The problem with these portals is that you know even less who is facing you than with classic online shopping," says Thorsten Behrens. It is very important to communicate only via the respective platform. Don't be lured to other channels or pages. And don't get involved in payments to supposed trust companies and, in principle, preferably not in transfers. Cash payment and personal delivery are to be preferred.
In the case of classifieds portals, however, private sellers are also targeted by criminals. Especially in the case of higher-quality goods, fraudsters often claim to have already transferred the money and send fake payment receipts from payment services. Their calculation: The goods are shipped without any real money having flowed. The scam with supposed couriers or freight forwarders is also widespread: Someone allegedly cannot pick up the goods themselves, for example because they claim to be abroad. However, he or she offers to send a courier or a forwarding agent.
So brazenly long Internet fraudsters to: Pay as a seller when shopping on the Internet? Don't!
That means: hands off. Otherwise, for example, the request comes from the alleged buyer to pay the freight costs for the forwarding agent, combined with the promise to transfer these delivery costs together with the purchase price. Then comes a fake e-mail that is supposed to prove the receipt of payment, followed by bank details: supposedly that of the supposed forwarding agent.
If you actually transfer the fictitious freight costs, you lose your money. Because the promised and supposedly proven payment has never been received on your own account. There are also variants of the freight forwarding trick, which are mainly about phishing and you are asked by the supposed freight company to provide credit card or account information. The criminals then tap into this sensitive data.
Fraudulent offers can also be found on social media or flutter into the house by e-mail
Fraudulent offers can also be found on social media or flutter into the house by e-mail. In both cases, you should be critical of dream price offers, especially when it comes to popular or current things that are in high demand, be it the top smartphone, the solar system or a cheap gas supply contract.
Anyone who has "bitten" such bait and provided their data must often expect calls that generate a constantly increasing purchase or contract pressure. "Here, consumer fears are cleverly exploited," says Ingo Sorgatz of the victim protection organization Weißer Ring, for example, with a view to the problems and challenges in the energy sector. Fraudsters would target older generations in particular.
You don't get anything for free on the Internet either.
Joachim Schneider from the Police Crime Prevention of the Länder and the Federal Government
In order not to receive bait offers or phishing traps by e-mail at all or less frequently, you should pay attention to an active spam filter at the e-mail provider or in the e-mail program, advises Joachim Schneider from the police crime prevention of the states and the federal government. Otherwise, the general rule is: "You don't get anything for free on the Internet." Anyone who has fallen victim to a fraudster and has already transferred or sent money should not only inform their bank or the respective payment service provider, but also report any fraud.
Only if the police become aware of such incidents can they identify fraudsters, identify new waves of fraud and react preventively. "A complaint is potential victim protection," emphasizes Joachim Schneider: "They not only help to arrest the perpetrators, but also prevent further victims of crime." (dpa/jon)