Start of New Year Prompts Call for Heightened Vigilance Against Scams and Fraud
As the new year commences, people are once again compelled to make resolutions, aiming to improve their lives and avoid potential pitfalls, particularly in the face of growing scams and fraudulent activities in the Philippines.
In 2023, the Philippines reported a staggering 11,071 cases of online scams, accounting for more than half of the total 19,884 cybercrimes reported in the country. Furthermore, the country was identified as having the highest rate of online shopping scams among 11 economies surveyed in the 2023 Asia Scam Report.
Given the rapid digitization of various aspects of daily life, including financial transactions, it has become increasingly important to pay attention to red flags and conduct “legit checks” to ensure safety and security in online dealings.
Legit checking involves assessing the authenticity of sellers and their offerings, which can provide a crucial safeguard against potential scams and scammers. Here are four ways to integrate legit checking into online transactions:
1. Spot Seller Red Flags: Before agreeing to pay for a product, carefully examine the seller’s profile, recent activities, and business history, looking for signs of legitimacy. Red flags to watch out for include sellers with little to no account history, too-good-to-be-true deals, and those lacking in posts and reviews.
2. Assess Seller Reviews: Check for reviews and complaints about the business across different platforms, including independent review sites and social media pages. Be wary of recurring complaints and irrelevant praises, as these could indicate potential issues.
3. Ask for Payment-Upon-Delivery Option: Inquire with the seller about the possibility of arranging payment upon the safe delivery of the item, providing an added layer of security.
4. Use GCash as a Trusted Payment Option: Opt for secure payment methods such as GCash, which offers additional security features through the new Express Send Checkbox. This allows users to verify the legitimacy of the seller before finalizing the transaction.
By integrating the habit of legit checking into daily transactions, individuals can not only protect themselves but also send a clear message to scammers that they are committed to safe and secure online practices. This proactive approach can go a long way in preventing financial losses and promoting a safe online environment for all.