IT expert wants online shoppers to be wary of cyber crimes

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Mr Moses Pam, an Information and Technology (IT) expert, has advised online shoppers to take precautionary measures to avoid falling victims of cyber crimes.

Pam, founder of VerveHub, an Abuja-based hub involved in cyber security, gave the tip in an interview with the journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

Pam said to avoid disappointment, theft, fraud and have a safe online shopping this Yuletide, people should ensure that the software on their desktops, laptops or mobile devices are up to date.

“It is very important that you have anti-virus software installed on your device that will be used for shopping.

“Don’t let the euphoria of getting a deal override your common sense when a discount looks too good to be true, only buy from reputable retailers,” he advised.

He said that online shoppers should also endeavour to read the customer reviews on social media pages of stores they are willing to buy from.

According to him, online shoppers can use Google Street View to look up the business address and phone numbers of stores to ascertain their authenticity.

“If you don’t know the store well, look up their physical address and phone numbers via Google Street view and check that they really exist.

“Some scammers list fictitious business addresses, which can be checked by using reliable online tools such as the Google Street view,” he said.

He predicted bigger online sales both locally and internationally this year, in efforts to reduce crowding in shops and avoid exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Naturally there will be an increase in the number of people shopping online due to the risk associated with COVID-19 virus. This will make scamming more lucrative for cyber criminals,” he warned.

He therefore, advised first-time online shoppers and others who might forget caution in their quest for a good bargain, to apply caution while doing business.

According to him, cyber criminals and old-fashioned fraudsters could take advantage of unwary shoppers in several ways.

The expert said that scammers could deploy several means to access the bank card details of first time online shoppers to steal money.

He added that cyber thieves could achieve this by accessing shoppers’ personal information or by accepting payment for goods they would not deliver.