Consumer, Cyber, Fraud, Online shopping.

Empowering Consumers: Avoid Online Scams


The digital revolution has brought online shopping to every nook and corner of India, from bustling cities to remote villages. Its surge in popularity can be attributed to its unparalleled convenience – enabling consumers to shop 24/7 from the comfort of their homes or while on the move. With various payment options available, including Cash on Delivery (COD), the allure of online shopping continues to grow.

ecommerce, online shopping, online payment, cyber fraud, consumer protection

While the digital marketplace offers unprecedented convenience, consumers often encounter challenges related to product quality, quantity discrepancies, and authenticity concerns. However, the most insidious challenge of all is the prevalence of online shopping fraud, which poses a significant risk to consumers’ financial security and trust in e-commerce platforms

A broad classification of online shopping fraud can be accomplished from multiple fraudulent activities.

Instances of online shopping fraud extend to the misuse of sensitive financial information including credit card details, debit card credentials, net banking access, UPI pins, and e-wallet data. Fraudsters resort to tactics like stealing account numbers, expiry dates, CVV numbers, or UPI pins, depending on the payment mode utilized. Additionally, there have been reported cases of credit and debit card cloning, resulting in the unauthorized extraction of hard-earned funds from unsuspecting individuals, equating this form of fraud to online theft, akin to physical house break-ins.

Online Frauds and New Enhanced Consumer Law:

The laws governing e-commerce in India include:

  1. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (effective from 20th July, 2020)
  2. The Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 (effective from 27th October, 2009)
  3. Various policies and regulations are established by regulatory bodies such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Cyber Crime Laws, and Consumer Protection laws, among others.
  • Since August 2016, has served as a platform for consumers to easily register complaints from the comfort of their homes, complemented by three quasi-judicial consumer forums for grievance resolution. Furthermore, consumers have recourse to various laws including the Information Technology Act, Cyber Crime Laws, Income Tax Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act, Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, Companies Act, 2013, and laws related to Goods and Services Tax, all of which contain provisions addressing frauds at both the national and international levels.
  • Before lodging complaints, it is advisable to retain copies of bills (whether electronic or physical) and warranty or guarantee cards for reference.
  • To register a complaint with NCH, individuals can utilize the toll-free numbers 1800-11-4000 or 14404, or send an SMS to 8130009809. Additionally, complaints can be filed online via the NCH website or app.
  • To qualify as a consumer, one must have purchased a product or availed of a service for which consideration has been paid or promised. Complaints should be filed within the two-year limitation period.
  • Ordering from reputable, original websites increases the likelihood of prompt resolution from sellers or e-commerce partners.
  • Vigilant customers who promptly file cases stand a better chance of receiving justice in instances of fraud.


It is essential to heed all safety instructions provided in this article to avoid falling victim to online scams, including refraining from clicking on suspicious links, and responding to unsolicited phone calls and text messages. Furthermore, safeguarding financial data is crucial, necessitating the use of strong passwords comprising unique combinations of alphanumeric and symbolic characters. It is recommended to memorize such passwords rather than noting them down to ensure maximum security.

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Meghna Joshi

Meghna Joshi

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