The number of reports of fraud concerning the online purchase and sale of goods has risen sharply. In the first months of 2021, almost as many victims reported to the Fraud Help Desk as in the whole of 2019.
The increase in online shopping scams was already visible last year: in 2020 the number of reports was twice as high as in 2019. If this development continues, the number of victims in 2021 will also be about twice as high as in 2020. estimated damage for 2021 is more than 1 million euros.
It is obvious that the corona crisis plays a role in this. Because many shops were closed, people who previously did not make their purchases online were also dependent on online stores and trading places. We also saw that scammers responded to the situation, for example by offering mouth caps, self-tests, disinfectants or fitness equipment.
Purchase and sale 2018 2019 2020 2021 to 16/3 Extrapolation 2021
Reports 1,454 2,371 4,827 1,809 8,683
Victims 987 1,571 3,782 1,492 7,161
Damage amount € 370,670 € 479,941 € 734,269 € 218,023 € 1,046,510
Shopping at an unknown webshop? Search for the name of the webshop first via the internet. Don't take any chances with negative reviews from others. Also be alert if the domain name is not the same as the name of the webshop or does not match the products offered. A website full of spelling mistakes or crooked sentences is wrong in every way, as is a webshop with only a handful of products.
The website of the webshop shows where the company is located and how the webshop can be reached. For example, check via Google Maps whether this is correct. And what is the policy regarding product returns and other terms and conditions? If nothing is mentioned about that, you'd better shop at another store.
Search through the website who.is from where and when the domain (the Internet address) is registered. A site that has only been registered very recently and/or a Dutch website that has been requested abroad can be regarded as suspicious.
Check whether the store is affiliated with an organization that issues a trustmark. Go to the website of the quality mark and check the member list on the website to see if the webshop is listed. Is the webshop known to the Chamber of Commerce?
It is always best to pay afterwards, or via PayPal or credit card. Paying with a credit card means extra security. If the order does not arrive, you can contest the transaction. The credit card company will refund the purchase amount. The retailer must be able to prove that the product has been delivered.
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