“Dear Flipkart customer, congratulations! You have won…” – a fake message such as this may seem enticing, but is truly just a trap. With e-commerce becoming increasingly popular, scammers are also looking to catch consumers off-guard and make a fast buck, all while using the trustworthy name of Flipkart. But worry not! Avoid clicking. Avoid providing details. Avoid forwarding. If you simply resist the bait offered via a fake message or call, scammers can never get you.
Sounds easy? It is. Here’s a snappy guide listing out some best practices to follow in case you get a fake message or call.
Tactics scammers use when sending a fake message
Fraudsters try their best to get unwary customers to fall prey to their schemes. Here are the common tactics they employ.
Their text is meant to entice: Fraudsters send messages with incredible offers or news, trying to trick customers into clicking their links or providing the details they ask. Here are examples of text that you may find in a fake message:
- “Click on the link and claim your free gift now!”
- “Click here and claim your Rs.10,000 gift card”
They try to be genuine: Fraudsters attempt to come off as official Flipkart representatives. So, a fake SMS may contain a ‘customer support’ number, and the scammer at the other end of a fake call may identify himself as your ‘Flipkart account manager’. You may even be asked to transfer a small amount for the logistics of a free gift you have won.
They want your sensitive data: Fraudsters try to pry out from you as much personal and financial information as possible through their fake message. Their links may direct you to a fake Flipkart website that contains forms via which your data is captured. You may even be led to make a bad transaction, and their links may be gateways to getting your device infected.
Fake messages and how to deal with them
You could get a fake message via SMS, but also on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or other social messaging platforms. In the case of WhatsApp or a social media platform, the scammer may also upload a fake invoice copy or send a message with genuine-looking branding, all to appear official. He may also furnish a forged Flipkart ID as proof.
In case you get a fake message or doubt its authenticity, follow these tips:
- Do not click on any links
- Do not provide personal or financial information
- Do not call back the number
- Do not forward the message
What you should do is alert Flipkart of the scam or clear your doubt by contacting the toll-free customer care number (1800 208 9898) or by sending a direct message (DM) on Twitter to Flipkart Support (@flipkartsupport). When doing so, make it a point to provide details like the fraudster’s phone number and screenshots of suspicious messages received.
Fake calls and what to do when you get one
Scammers may approach you from unknown numbers and, to appear genuine, pretend to represent Flipkart or its group companies, Myntra, Jabong, Jeeves, or PhonePe. They may even converse with you in English, Hindi, or a regional language of your choice. Their conversation would probably revolve around an amazing deal that you are eligible for or some urgent account action that needs to be taken.
Be wary of calls that talk about:
- Free gifts you have won
- You being the winner of a lucky draw
- Your Flipkart account attention
The best way to deal with such calls is to:
- Provide no details whatsoever (CVV, PIN, OTP, e-wallet details, bank account numbers)
- Call the official customer support line 1800 208 9898 for clarification
Fake emails and how to respond to them
You may receive a fake message via email. This technique is called phishing. The goal of the scammers behind the email is, once again, to steal personal and financial information and, perhaps, even get you to make a payment. To do so, the email could offer you an attractive coupon or draw your attention to a jaw-dropping deal (e.g. a 32 GB pen-drive for ₹25).
If you doubt the authenticity of the email or notice it coming from an unauthorized domain (not Flipkart.com) employ these tactics:
- Do not reply to the email
- Do not click on any links
- Do not make any payments through a link in the email
As always, when you think you’ve received a fake message, reach out to Flipkart via the toll-free number or Twitter.
In summary, resisting and reporting are the two best things you can do if you receive a fake message.
Don’t worry about missing out on current deals! You can find all the information you need by:
- Visiting https://www.flipkart.com/
- Checking https://stories.flipkart.com
- Enabling notifications on the official Flipkart app
Likewise, rather than purchase through a link you get on a fake message, shop on:
- The official desktop website of Flipkart
- The Flipkart mobile shopping app (iOS and Android)
- The Flipkart mobile site
So, shop safely and #FightFraudWithFlipkart.
For more cybersecurity tips, read our master guide.