Amid so many tempting offers announced during Black Friday, I need to be careful not to fall for scams on the Internet. As the date intensely drives Brazilian e-commerce, criminals tend to leverage the flow of web users to lure victims to fake websites, sell non-existent products, and steal credit card data. To prevent shoppers from getting hurt on traditional Friday promotion, Procon-SP maintains a list of suspicious online stores.
READ: Black Friday: 8 tips to see what is really cheap
The relationship counts until the publication of this issue with 307 fraudulent websites, which had complaints from consumers registered in the body, were notified and did not respond or were not found. Procon-SP first released the mailing list in July 2011 and has been keeping it updated since the last update was made on October 14th.
Procon-SP has list of stores to avoid on Black Friday 2019 Photo: Melissa Cruz / TechTudo
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In addition to the page URL, the list also shows information such as the company or person responsible for the online store, the respective CNPJ (or CPF, if the e-commerce is managed by a physical person) and the situation, which may be classified like "In Air" or "Out of Air". It is worth mentioning that this status refers to the site insertion date in the list, also mentioned in the table.
Well-known national brands are not present in the listing, but some names draw attention for similarity to certain famous stores, such as the pages "gabimagazine.br" and "magazinefernando", which supposedly refer to Magazine Luiza. Addresses such as "localdoeletro.br", "cardozoeletro.br" and "showdoeletro.br" may confuse e-commerce customers Ricardo Eletro.
The complete list can be accessed on the Procon SP page (Sistemas.procon.sp.gov.br/evitesite). To make checking easier, try installing the extensive Canbuy, which uses the entity's database to tell if the visited site is secure.
In addition to looking at the document, consumers should surround themselves with a host of other cautions, such as verifying the secure site, searching for store reputation on sites like Complain Here, and being alert to payment methods. Here are five tips for protecting yourself from the famous "Black Fraud" and avoiding problems with stores during promos.
1. Check site security
Green padlock accompanied by "https" indicates encrypted site Photo: Reproduction / Shutterstock
To check if the store is secure, look for the lock icon accompanied by the abbreviation HTTPS in the address bar. HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. This indicates that communications between the site and your computer or mobile phone are encrypted, which increases data security. Pay attention if HTTPS is also present on the checkout page. Otherwise, do not enter your personal and financial information.
2. Observe the payment methods
To identify a true billet, it is important to pay attention to barcode numbers. Photo: Reproduction / Carolina Lais
Even if a site has HTTPS, be wary if it does not offer credit card payment options. To spend less on infrastructure, criminals may choose not to try to steal your bank details and instead apply simpler scams. In this case, it is most common to see expensive product advertisements for highly attractive prices, with payment via fake ticket or bank transfer. While the offer appears to be very advantageous, resist the temptation to stick to promotions with these characteristics.
3. Check for mandatory information by law
According to the E-commerce Law (7,962 / 13), which regulates the Consumer Protection Code in e-commerce, all online stores must present the following information:
- CNPJ (National Register of Legal Entities);
- Company Name;
- Address of company headquarters;
- Email or contact form.
The text also requires that the data be clearly displayed at the top or bottom of the page. The absence of any of the above information characterizes the breach of the law and indicates that the site is unreliable.
Still according to the law, every store must have a policy of exchanges and returns. Generally, e-commerce concentrates this information in a single link, but the terms may also appear on the product description page. Look for the exchange and returns policy and, if not, do not buy from the site.
4. Research Store Reputation
Complain Here helps you escape the pitfalls on Black Friday Photo: Isabela Giantomaso / TechTudo
As much as the Procon-SP listing helps to escape the pitfalls on Black Friday, it may not be enough for consumers who want to evaluate more detailed information before proceeding with the purchase. In that sense, a tool is useful in Claim Here. The site records customer complaints and lets you track store responses to complaints. Search by name and review notes and notes about e-commerce. The experiences of other buyers will certainly help you understand if the site is trustworthy or not.
Another tool that helps evaluate store reputation is Consumidor.gov.br, a platform created by the Federal Government to help consumers solve problems with physical and online store purchases. Look for the company by name and review reports from other customers, as well as information such as solution rate and customer satisfaction.
5. No click on suspicious links
WhatsApp is one of the main channels for Black Friday phishing scams Photo: Tainah Tavares / TechTudo
According to security firm Kaspersky, phishing attacks increase fourfold during Black Friday. Therefore, click on links received via WhatsApp, SMS messages and social networks, the main channels used to spread fraudulent promos. Instead, access the site by typing the email address directly into the address bar. It's important to be careful even about links sent by friends: if in doubt, confirm that the person actually sent the content to you.
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Black Friday: Five Tips for Safe Shopping