591 million people in China have access the Internet and out of them, 464 million access the Internet via smartphones and other wireless devices according to the China Internet Network Information Center via a report from the BBC. Instant messaging has been able to integrate services such as shopping, payment and gaming, which have seen an increase by 30 million people in the last six months. But this is not necessarily good news; as of last week Baidu released a risk assessment of the top eight most fraudulent Internet areas according to the Beijing Evening News (Chinese).
The top eight high risk areas according to Baidu are: online banking, recharging services such as fuel cards, pharmaceutical, online shopping, ticket booking, aftersales services, express courier services and lottery. Out of the eight, the most pertinent are online banking, online shopping, ticket booking and express courier services.
If you have a Chinese bank account and have enabled the text messaging services as well as the online banking beware of the fake texts asking you to upgrade your online banking. The trick used here is that once you log in to the “bank’s website” the criminals get access to gather information you have input and transfer money out of your account. When you receive such text, call the bank to confirm that they sent you a text. It’s OK to play it safe and just ask; it’s your money.
New or old Beijing residents’ the one thing you get to do more of is buy things online. We are not saying don’t buy your goods online just use trusted sites. Check to see if the site you are using to buy has an Internet Content Provider record certification. If the deal is too good to be true, it usually is, lower priced goods do tend to have more cases of people being duped after the exchange of information especially banking information. In the case of Taobao for a small fee there are agents who can assist non-Chinese speakers to buy goods.
With the holidays coming up (October national break, Christmas, Chinese New Year) buying tickets online is the preferred mode of choice today especially if it’s a discount. Do not fall into temptation, go and buy the tickets from the official airline website or check if the site you are using has a valid Air Association Certification qualification ticket agent.
So you have bought the goods online and this is legitimate but the problem comes when the courier services want you to pay or sign before checking if the goods are to your satisfaction. The thing that I learned the hard way was once you sign for the goods, the company is no longer willing to do much about whatever complaints you may have with the products. I usually do not sign till I check and confirm even though the courier is in a rush.
In 2011, 60 million Internet users incurred losses due to online fraud amounting to RMB 30 billion, where 30 percent of the fraud cases were online shoppers.By June of this year, Baidu reports that they have cracked down on 21 million fake sites.
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