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Fake Online Businesses and Their Tricks

By: Dr. Djuwari

Nowadays, there are so many online businesses. We have also known the names of those online businesses. However, this kind of phenomenon is also used by irresponsible people. They are trying to do “online businesses,” but they are the fake ones. They use some tactics, asking the “customers” to deal by transferring some money and then they give enticing commissions, even higher than the normal ones.

But, then they have their own systems multiplying the transaction which tends to rise higher and higher. Unfortunately, the last one of the transactions can be unaffordable to pay. If that is the case, the money we have transferred previously can be collected back to us. So, our previous money is gone. That’s why, please beware of that kind of fake online business. I have experienced this last month. I traced back to the combination stories, as I recorded or saved, through the social media and their accounts. Finally, their accounts are blank: no identity anymore. 

I sent an email to the original name of the online business whose name and logo were used by those irresponsible people. They replied to my email very soon telling me that they never do business of such kind of transaction. They suggested that not continue that fake business. I shared this reply email in a screenshot to the accounts of the fake business. Then, this fake business account owner deleted the logo and name they used. 

When I read the official website of the original online business, I also read some readers’ complaints. Those complaints are the same as I have experienced.  From this, I believe that there might be the following victims. Therefore, this article must be essential for the public to read so that they would not become the same victims as I experienced.  To avoid falling victim to fake online businesses, consider implementing the following strategies.

First, we have to research and verify.  Before engaging with any online business, conduct thorough research. We can check their website, reviews, and customer feedback. Look for any red flags such as suspicious payment methods, overly enticing offers, or lack of contact information.

Then, we have to check the legitimacy. We have to verify the legitimacy of the business by searching for their registration details, business address, and contact information. Legitimate businesses usually have a physical address and customer support channels.

The next is to trust the official channels. We have to trust only the official channels of communication from the business, such as their official website, verified social media accounts, or customer support email addresses. Be wary of unsolicited messages or requests for sensitive information.

Another step is to avoid high-risk transactions. We must be cautious of transactions that require you to transfer money upfront, especially if it involves high-risk investments or promises of unusually high returns. Legitimate businesses typically follow standard payment procedures and provide clear terms and conditions.

Finally, we have to report the suspicious activity. If we encounter a potentially fraudulent online business, report it to the relevant authorities, such as consumer protection agencies, financial regulators, or law enforcement agencies. Additionally, notify the legitimate business whose identity is being exploited, as they may take action to protect their brand and customers.

The most important is to educate others. This article is also one of the examples of educating the people. We have to share our experiences with friends, family, and online communities to raise awareness about fake online businesses and help others avoid falling victim to similar scams. Then, we encourage others to verify the legitimacy of businesses before making any transactions.

By adopting these strategies and maintaining vigilance when interacting with online businesses, we can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraudulent activities and protect yourself from financial losses.

Dr. Djuwari is an Associate Professor at Universitas Nahdlatul Ulama Surabaya (UNUSA) Indonesia. Surabaya, the editor of some research journals in the Philippines and Indonesia. He is also a journalist in some newspapers in Indonesia; the President of International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER), a small business owner of Djuw Café.

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