Be careful while shopping online, say Mumbai cops

Jun 08, 2014, 07:16 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Faced with a rising number of online shopping fraud cases, the Mumbai police issues detailed guidelines for cyber shoppers

The online market has never witnessed a better time. Slowly but steadily Indian consumers are putting faith into online shopping. But with growing popularity of the online market, the number of cyber crime cases have also increased. The Mumbai police claim they get at least five cases of cyber crime very month. Also, according to Cyber Cell, cyber crime cases grew by 173 per cent from 63 in 2012 to 169 in 2013. Card fraud also rose by 300 per cent from 2012 to 2013 (eight to 32 cases).

The business of duping
Chetan Ghiya, a resident of Malabar Hill, wanted to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note. On logging on to, he found that the model he wanted was available at a discount of R1,000. “He made a payment using his debit card and despite being promised home delivery in a day, he didn’t receive the phone for a month. It was then that he lodged a complaint,” said Mukund Pawar, senior police inspector of Cyber Cell special cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch that takes care of online complaints.

The police further said that it is difficult to nab the accused in such cases as they register incorrect addresses and more often than not, they run to another city. “If you are carrying out a transaction involving a lot of money, remember to call the company and check the authenticity of the website,” said joint commissioner of police, Mumbai Crime Branch, Sadanand Date.

In another case, Nishit Desai wanted to buy a Kawasaki Ninja Zx 14 and while browsing he found that the imported bike was being sold at Rs 3,50,000. “On contacting the number on the website, he was told that the owner is leaving the country shortly and the money needs to be deposited with his representative. The bike never got delivered,” said KMM Prasanna, additional commissioner of police of the Crime Branch.

“If you come across a deal which is too good to be true, always suspect it. Use only credible websites and try using the cash on delivery option,” says Vijay Mukhi, an online expert.

Smart shopping
Presently, only 12 per cent Indians shop online, which constitutes less than one per cent of e-commerce but if predictions are to be believed, in the next five years the figure is expected to rise upto four per cent “We have a policy where we don’t pay our merchants till the customer gets his goods delivered at home and we also give money back guarantee if the customer is not satisfied,” says Deepa Thomas, e-commerce, Evangelist at eBay.

Tips to shop online safely
Check the authenticity of the website before buying anything and always go for the ‘cash on delivery’ option
>> Do not write your name behind credit and debit cards
>> Try using credit cards while shopping online because if you get cheated you can tell the company as to why you aren’t paying them
>> Keep toll free numbers of the website and your bank handy
>> Do check the terms and conditions thoroughly

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