Beware 11.11 Scams

Singles day celebrated predominately in China is now the biggest online eCommerce activity in many parts of Asia. 11.11 which numerically represent One’s (single) has been turned into a massive discount sales day spanning 24 hours thanks to sites like Alibaba, Shoppee and Lazada.

It was reported Alibaba recorded over US$30 billion in a single day, a year on year growth which goes to show the popularity of shoppers opting to pick up their goods online rather than in-store. But there are those who warn of entirely believing on the discount proposition offered on these eCommerce sites. Cybersecurity firm LGMS founder CF Fong recently highlighted to a local English daily that fraudsters usually will take this opportunity to prey on online shoppers by offering too-good-to-be true deals. He added that even without ‘sales’ there is already much e-commerce fraud now with sales the chances will definitely increase.

While many will be rushing to get their hands on great offers on sites like Zalora, Shoppee and Taobao are merely e-malls hosting a number of vendors who set up shop on the platform. There e-mall owners will not be able to impose strict conditions on their sellers due to sheer volume and often leave in to them to self manage. Its only after complaints that action is taken, which by then the experience has already turned sour and the desired item no longer available. Security experts advice shoppers to be alert when doing their transactions to take their time and only give their credit card details to reputable sites.

Scammers have become more sophisticated over the years and look for global events like 11.11 e-commerce sales to initiate attacks or harness data. Anti-virus company Kaspersky warned of these bad actors using different kind of malware to dupe online shoppers. Among them are banking trojans that target victims through emails pretending to be banks or could even be fake websites or content that the unsuspecting user would download into their computers.

To be safe, avoid clicking on links that are suspicious the firm added.


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