#FinancePH - ‘Baka online shopping scam ‘yan!’ Here’s how to legit check online sellers

The attractiveness of sales and low prices, coupled with the time pressure that comes with it, make everyone vulnerable to online scammers, including fake sellers.

Financial super app GCash shares the signs you should watch out for when checking an online seller and how to do a ‘legit check’ with the help of the Express Send Checkbox for Send Money transactions, a unique feature designed to help you verify the legitimacy of your Send Money transaction.

How do you spot a fake seller? 

The seller has little to no account history

Be wary of sellers with minimal or no account history. Scammers frequently create new accounts to continue their fraudulent activities, even if they have been reported or blocked in the past. When making purchases through social media pages, use the page transparency feature to verify when the page was created and its previous name changes.

The seller offers ridiculously low prices  

If you stumble upon a product that’s too good to be true, it probably is. Fake sellers often lure customers with very low prices compared to the average market price. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of the seller, check the price with at least two more sellers selling the same product.

The seller has no other posts and reviews

When an online seller has no other posts and reviews on their profile, it may mean that they are new to the platform or have minimal experience selling online. Legitimate sellers usually have a consistent record of posts, listings, and reviews to provide potential customers an understanding of their reputation and customer experience.

How can I do a Legit Check on an online seller? 

1. Check the seller’s profile

Before agreeing to pay for a product, examine the seller’s profile. Do a quick search of the business or seller’s name to make sure they are not imitating a legitimate business or individual.  

2. Assess seller reviews 

Check for reviews and complaints about the business on various platforms, including the seller’s own profile, independent review sites, and social media pages. Be on the lookout for recurring complaints that may suggest potential issues. 

3. Ask for payment-upon-delivery option

When possible, ask the seller if it’s possible for you to pay only once the item is delivered, or once you have confirmed that the item is correct.

4. Use GCash as your trusted payment option 

When paying for your purchases, make sure to use a secure mode of payment such as GCash. When you use GCash to send money to the seller, you are reminded to do a ‘legit check’ first with the help of the Express Send Checkbox feature. The Express Send Checkbox prompts you to verify that you have reviewed the person you are sending money to and that the number of the recipient and the amount you are about to send are correct, before enabling you to proceed with the transaction.

Remember, online shopping should be a fun and enjoyable experience of rewarding yourself and your loved ones, not a cause of worry and fear. By staying vigilant against fake sellers and being proactive in doing legit checks, you can fully enjoy the fruits of your hard work and have the confidence to shop online and pay with GCash. 

If you encounter phishing scams and fraudulent activities targeting your GCash account, you may report these by visiting the official GCash Help Center in the app or at help.gcash.com/,  messaging Gigi on the website, and typing, “I want to report a scam.” 

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