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The meeting of the Individual. How to buy on the internet safely?

Be careful with your purchases on the Internet during this holiday season. (Illustration photo) (MAXPPP)

Pascal Frasnetti investigated for The particular, the monthly Figaro that we find on newsstands at the moment, with an article in the title could not be more clear: “How to shop online safely”. Topical issue at 10 days of Christmas when we know that nearly 39 million French people place their orders on the internet.

franceinfo: What are the dangers, the scams to avoid?

Pascal Frasnetti: The main point is who you buy from. Buying on the internet is not the same as buying in stores where the risk is very limited. Do not trust only the search engines that direct you to a seller you do not know. Fraudsters can use URL addresses very close to those of major brands or outright usurp a domain name, this is called cybersquatting in the lingo.

To recognize a suspicious site there are certain signals that alert us: coarse spelling mistakes for example!

Yes, it can be an example. Spelling mistakes but also poor quality photos if you buy a luxury product or a price that is too attractive compared to the market, all signals that should attract your attention. Except that to detect these suspicious sites, you need a certain culture of the Internet. You should know for example that the big luxury brands rarely sell directly, and certainly not on sites with the mention “cheap” in the URL.

Always pay attention to links in emails?

It's a classic, but you have to hammer the message: NEVER open an attachment or NEVER click on a link sent to you if you don't know the sender. There is a little trick that is to point your mouse on the link to see the address to which the link will switch you, so you can check if it is a classic business address.

Most often, these fraudulent links invite you in one way or another to communicate your bank details, for example by asking you to modify them following a payment problem.

There are ways to know where you set foot on the internet, like reading the legal notice, which almost nobody does right?

You are right, no one does. So it all depends on the level of trust you place in the seller and then, of course, the amount of the transaction. But if the amount is high, it's worth taking a look. It only takes a few minutes: you verify the seller’s identity, postal or email address, and the phone number to reach them.

All of these are required by law. If you can't find them, go your way. There are other ways to protect yourself. If you doubt the identity of an internet seller, a simple phone call will let you know if the company exists. You can also check on the official brand website whether it is an authorized or authorized dealer.

When paying, you must ensure that the transaction is secure, because it is sensitive to enter your bank details?

Of course, the data must be encrypted, which is materialized either by a small padlock, or by the letter S (as secure), which appears in the URL at the time of the transaction. And then you have today the 3DSecure function which validates the authentication by an SMS sent to your smartphone.

Security standards for online payments are also evolving, strengthening?

Absolutely, the 3D Secure function is evolving towards a new process, called strong authentication, based on the principle of double authentication of the payer, by integrating in addition, for example, a biometric element, therefore very often, you will need to be recognized with your fingerprint. In 3 years, all payments over 30 euros will have to go through this system and many banks have already adopted it.

In some cases if you have been scammed by paying online, can you hold your bank responsible?

Absolutely. If you paid for a product with your bank card (and not by bank transfer) and you did not receive it, if you were subscribed to a service without your consent, or if your bank card was hacked, the bank has the obligation to reimburse you the amounts unduly withdrawn – and free of charge. This is the chargeback procedure, which appears in the Monetary and Financial Code. It applies when you have not authorized payment. You have 8 weeks to request a refund.

If, on the other hand, you have validated the transaction by sending the code received on your smartphone – we are thinking in particular of children using their parents' phone without their knowledge – and in this case, it will be more difficult to be reimbursed. It is precisely this kind of situation that the new strong authentication process will make it possible to limit.

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