Humans love to shop. Especially online. It’s a fact, Wikipedia that.
Also no, take it from the experts as research confirms that the pull of online shopping is so great that we are purchasing more and more of our everyday objects via the internet.
And just as every cloud has a silver lining and every rose has it’s thorns, the mysterious world of online shopping is no different. Cyber crime and cyber hacks get more advanced day by day as our dependence and interaction with the digital realm grows. Now, as per a report by Forbes, avid shoppers might want to double check whether that Instagram page selling those unbelievably cheap Louboutins is really as credible as it seems.
According to a report by Forbes, online shoppers in Sweden are being duped by cyber scammers via everyone’s favourite social media platform, Instagram. One would think that the scam should be pretty easy to spot as the scamming sellers advertise luxury and high end brands such as Louis Vuitton and even Apple at unbelievably low prices. If that wasn’t enough of a warning itself, the next part of the process consists of the seller convincing the gullible buyer to convert their hard earned cash into cryptos like Bitcoin in order to successfully complete the purchase.
We all know where this scenario goes next, don’t we?
As expected, once the unsuspecting shopper parts with their coins, the seller disappears with the money and the products. One begins to wonder whether those Gucci bags even existed in the first place? According to the report, although the Insta-crimes are being reported to local authorities, it doesn’t look like they’re stopping any time soon.
It further explains that this scam usually hits the youth, aged around 25 and are further categorized as “immigrants.” Do the findings imply that migrants are more gullible? Or is it just that they are not yet entirely familiar with the dangers of online shopping?
The inherent loopholes that the digital world can lend to potential scammers, hackers and cyber criminals however, will not discriminate based on your ethnic background and are quite frightening as the lack of trace-ability coupled with the unparalleled anonymity that comes with the world online mean that if someone cons you out of your cash, chances of you regaining it back are very slim.
According to Magnus Karlsson who is a strategic analyst at the ‘Financial Intelligence Unit’ of the Swedish Police, digital users and online shoppers should proceed with care, making sure that they have verified whether a page or seller is reliable.