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PTAC: residents do not take security risks seriously when shopping online

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian consumers lack in-depth knowledge of security when shopping online and they are not aware of risks of fraud, said Consumer Rights Protection Centre (PTAC) director Baiba Vītoliņa during Safe E-Purchases discussion on Tuesday, 29 October.

Experts participating in a discussion organized by Mastercard and Finance Industry Association talked about secure online shopping.

Finance Industry Association’s IT Security work group leader Oskars Blumbergs said that residents in Latvia apply sufficient critical thinking when shopping online. IT security incident prevention institution Cert.lv IT security expert Gints Mālkalnietis said youngsters know what to do when shopping online. It is the older residents who are at risk.

Vītoliņa said consumers’ knowledge about safe online shopping is not very good.

«Technically they are aware of what they should do, but they do not consider the risks. And they generally do not do their homework when evaluating stores and online traders before making their purchase,» said Vītoliņa.

Bllumbergs said internet fraud is primarily used to cheat customers out of money by not providing them the goods or services they pay for.

According to him, to avoid internet fraud, consumers should evaluate their chosen internet stores by referring to feedback and experience of other people. It is also necessary to check if the online store page is the original, not a fraudulent copy made to fool people.

Blumbergs also invited people to pay attention to the online trader’s attitude towards security and report to their bank any purchases they did not make.

The representative of the Finance Industry Association stressed that it is also important to focus on security of mobile devices as well. Mālkalnietis, on the other hand, said that a website’s security is represented by its digital certificate, which is something most people are not aware of.

He stressed that it is possible to reduce fraud by using a two-step authentication method for internet banking accounts. This system means that to authorize internet purchases, consumers have to approve it using their mobile device or code calculator.

Vītoliņa said that the increase of complaints regarding online purchases is related to the fact that more and more people perform online purchases of different kinds. She explained that PTAC sees more problems with internet stores that do not use typical payments on the internet but rather payments that are not as secure.

She said that when shopping online, consumers have the same rights as they have when shopping at regular stores – goods and services have to be of appropriate quality. Additionally, goods should be allowed to be returned within 14 days of purchase.

PTAC invites residents to report any problems with online purchases.


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