With the growing number of Filipino consumers engaging in online shopping, the Department of Trade and Industry urges everyone to be wary and stay away from unscrupulous businesses.

The advent of technology has given consumers the capacity to instantly purchase their goods online and have them delivered at their doorstep. Consumers who have access to the internet and own a smartphone, ipad, or laptop, resort to this method because of convenience. However, the DTI reminds the buying public to be vigilant especially when engaging in an online transaction. Here are some consumer tips:

Safety tips when buying in an online store:

  • Always check the website if it has a Secured Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate. This protects information (such as credit card number, addresses, and password) sent to the website.
  • Take note of the lock icon in the address bar to confirm legitimacy of the website.
  • Check the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) at the beginning of the website. When providing your personal address, make sure that the URL starts with https://.
  • Beware of fake websites called PHISING sites. Ask for the following documents:
    • DTI / SEC Registration o BIR Registration (2003)
    • Business Permit
    • Sales Invoice
    • Official Receipt o FDA License
  • Check for reviews posted by customers.
  • Choose “Cash on Delivery (COD)” as mode of payment.

Red flags of a fraud online selling store:

  • The website that requires your personal information starts with http:// instead of https://.
  • The seller urges you to deposit immediately before sending the products.

“We cannot deny the fact that technology created a more advanced environment where consumers now take part in digital transactions. So we encourage the buying public to be wiser and more alert in order not be taken advantage of by unscrupulous online sellers,” says Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua.♦