Many of you must be waiting for the shopping extravaganza of the year, Flipkart's Big Billion Days Sale, which is just round the corner, and the excitement to get an iPhone at a better cost must be building as the official dates have been announced. Scammers, I'm sure, are gearing up as well.
When and what
Flipkart announced that this year's sale kicks off on October 8 and will last until October 15.
While the mega sales offer good savings opportunities, they also present the perfect hunting ground for scammers and fraudsters.
So, here's how you can stay aware, protect yourself and make the most of Flipkart's Big Billion Days Sale as fraudsters impersonate a platform, a seller or a delivery representative and use tactics like phishing emails, fake websites, and fake calls to deceive shoppers.
First, you need to know what an average online scam looks like
- First and foremost, some scammers create a lookalike platform website that would look just like the Flipkart website, with logos and branding. They often use URLs that include "Flipkart" to mislead shoppers. Hence it is always better to double-check the website's authenticity.
- Sometimes, they will have a lookalike page on Facebook. These will mostly be unverified.
- Some even send fake messages via WhatsApp, SMS, social media, and email, offering discounts that would be too good to be true, contests where you might be the only winner and prizes like an iPhone 15 Pro Max or a Pixel 8.
- If those messages ask for your personal information or payments, you know what not to do (and if you don't know what to do -- here: DO NOT share any of your personal information)!
- Some may call or send SMS messages claiming you've won gifts or prizes in lieu of your sensitive information like bank details or even payments to claim your "winnings" Do not give in!
- At times, emails are also sent that appear to be from Flipkart or some other authentic app, but they are actually designed to steal your personal and financial information. So, never click on those suspicious links in your inbox. Go ahead and report them.
- Some scammers may invite you to play games or participate in fake contests promising huge rewards. These are often ploys to gather your personal data. So, stay away.
Now, what if you ordered an iPhone 15 Pro Max and a bar of soap was delivered instead of that shiny new phone?
- Whenever you receive a package, you may yourself, or ask a friend, to record a video, starting when the delivery partner knocks on your door.
- Record the entire episode, consisting of you receiving it, unboxing it with the bill, and details of the product and ensuring it is not damaged, or tampered with and is the exact item you had ordered.
- If things go wrong, file a complaint with Flipkart through the app or website and provide all your evidence along with the video. If it's a good day, trim the video to turn it into a nice unboxing video.
- A new scam, you must be aware of is, a delivery agent coming to your door with a cash-on-delivery package, insisting you pay and accept it, even if you have not. When you show them your order history, they will ask you to contact customer service, and you can probably guess the rest.
- Above all, as a citizen and a consumer in India, you always have the option to knock on the door of a consumer court because, as a victim, if you are not satisfied with the platform's response and redressal, you will be liable for compensation under the Consumer Protection Act of India.
(btw, Amazon's Great Indian Sale 2023 is, also, anyway, starting on October 10. Just saying.)