25 years old, Female, Beijing, China
DOMINION GROUP INTERNATIONAL: AVOIDING COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS
Counterfeit mobile products are usually offered via online shops and web stores. A lot of fake items are rampant online. This is due to the fact that consumers cannot check the products firsthand before they can place an order.
When you buy any product online, it is impossible to check the exact merchandise you will be purchasing without the help of assets like photos and descriptions. However, the assets may look enticing due to photo manipulation, fake descriptions, and other content that may conceal the product’s authenticity. This is why promotions may seem appealing because of its marketing quality.
Those who sell counterfeit mobile products get a bigger profit than the legitimate companies who sell authentic items. A lot of people who purchase stuff online are not really sure of the quality of the items they ordered.
Avoiding fake items
Here are some tips on how to avoid fake mobile accessories and other items:
• Learn how to spot a fake
Retailers can easily put on some nice photos and compelling content about the product but it doesn’t mean that the product isn’t fake.
• Look at the price
Sometimes, if a deal is too good to be true, the product is probably a bogus. Counterfeit products are often sold at a very affordable price which is lower compared to the price quoted by the official retailer. Comparing the prices on several websites can really help you to spot a fake item. You also need to look at the total price that includes the delivery cost, VAT, banking fees, custom duties, etc.
• Check the identity of the seller
It is essential to check the contact details of the online store to verify if it really exists. You can also use it in case you have any complaints or encounter some problems about the products you purchased. Take note of the name, address, email, as well as the phone number.
• Check if the website has a security features on the payments page
Before you pay the contents on your virtual shopping cart, you must check if the website has a secure payment page. Look for the padlock or key icon in the URL bar and see if the address begins with “https.” If you’re paying using your credit card, these indicators are important to look at before you complete the transaction. In that way, the website is protected in case of fraud. It can be risky to use direct money transfers such as Western Union, Moneycorp, Worldremit, Worldplay, etc. due to its unsecured payment capability.
Authorities give a warning to people who are fond of shopping through online means. Dominion Group International and other popular e-commerce websites try to improve the security features on the website to ensure the protection of the customers. Online shoppers are the usual target of fraudsters
since they cannot immediately check the authenticity of the product before completing the transaction.
DOMINION GROUP INTERNATIONAL: WARNING ON THE USE OF SMARTPHONE CASE CONTAINING LIQUID
A warning on the use of harmful smartphone cases that contains liquid materials has been released by the Practical Living Information Online-Network System (PIO-NET). By linking the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan, the local consumer centers, as well as similar organizations across the country through an online network, they have gathered some information on inquiries concerning consumer affairs.
They were also a number of cases examined especially for their news release. They have collected some data registered from April 2011 to February 29, 2016. The consumers must beware of the leakage from a smartphone case containing liquid.
Cause of leakage
The mobile phone cases are made of low-quality materials which get easily broken when the mobile device is dropped. When damaged, the phone accessory can easily get a crack and the liquid it contains can leak through.
The liquid material is made of chemicals with a nasty smell. The brands of mobile phone cases underwent primary skin irritation test. The encapsulated liquid material that has been found on the three brands of smartphone cases turned out to cause severe skin irritancy, as well as skin corrosivity. Another brand also causes moderate skin irritancy which brings an itch to the victim.
Paraffinum liquidum and mineral oil were found in three brands with the ingredients of the liquid material. These ingredients are petroleum-derived oils widely used for fuel, lubricant, cosmetics, etc. However, it might cause a rash or inflammation on the skin so it should be handled with care.
The kind of mobile phone case reported has been sold in the market, along with other types of smartphone cases for protecting and decorating smartphones. The colorful and adorable design of these mobile accessories has been sold like pancakes.
However, the mobile phone owners should beware of some harmful products because it may contain chemical liquid inside. There were reports of chemical burns caused by the chemical liquid leaked from the smartphone cases. The product review of such mobile phone accessory can be found on the web. There were incidents reported in 2015 or later, wherein the victims got a rash from liquid that leaked from the case. Some people who filed their complaint said that the smell made them sick.
Others have a complaint about the redness and swelling of the skin they experienced. They felt itchy when the liquid reached the skin which causes a rash. According to the examination, some victims were diagnosed with skin burn.
If by any chance the liquid had leaked and attached to your skin, carefully wash the area with running water and if symptoms occur, be sure to see a doctor.
The National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan examined skin irritancy of the chemical liquids found in some smartphone cases. They decided to release a warning about the issue to alert the consumers. The public must avoid the purchase of the said products to prevent the recurrence of similar problems.
DOMINION GROUP INTERNATIONAL: CRYPTOCURRENCY SCAM IN JAPAN IS ON THE RISE
33 cases of the cryptocurrency-related scam have been reported by consumers in Japan. The reported fraud occurred in the first seven months of 2017. More than half a million-dollar worth of losses have been reported because it was missing due to the scam.
Nikkei and The Yomiuri Shimbun have reported about the National Policy Agency (NPA) who received a complaint regarding missing amounts of money linked to fraud-related thefts. The incidents happened between January and July. The pace of the complaint appeared to have picked up as the year progressed, along with the rise of cryptocurrency market. In July alone, there have been reports of stolen money that amounts millions worth of Japanese currency.
Ripple cryptocurrency manager arrested for scam
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ripple were the reported companies involved in the scam. The majority of the year’s reports were linked to the thefts of Bitcoin assets.
According to a Japanese newspaper, The Mainichi, the most virtual currency that happened until June 2017 came from Ripple with a 29.6-million-yen worth of missing damages. It is also followed by about 29.3-million-yen worth of bitcoins. There were also damages in other currencies like ethereum and NEM that amounted to 200,000 yen and 100,000 yen.
The manager of Ripple cryptocurrency has been arrested in Kyoto by the authorities for allegedly swindling 1.4 million yen ($12,470) from a depositor. It was the first arrest in Japan issued by a U.S. venture company. The Ripple currency is used for international payments and cannot be used for other merchandise purchases that’s why it has been traded online.
According to investigators, the arrest was made in connection with Ripple virtual currency that is officially called as XRP. Yuki Takenaka, the 31-year-old founder and the head of operations for Ripple exchange, admitted to most of the fraud charges. He was under investigation due to the money was taken from a depositor in Miyagi Prefecture.
Based on the complaint, he was able to get ¥1.4 million in March 2015. The money was allegedly collected even though his company was in a state of collapse. According to the investigation, the company was unable to make refunds at that time.
Takenaka set up the currency exchange in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture which happened in May 2014. However, the users were unable to withdraw their cash investments or contact him around March of 2015. The company was able to collect money from their users in exchange for written acknowledgements of debt which are needed for the online transactions of Ripple. The users could exchange the notes with the company or convert them into cash.
The company charges no commission and the manager was able to get more than 10 million yen out of a dozen users using their promotions and advertising. He is also suspected of making profits by issuing fraud IOUs worth around 120 million yen.
DOMINION GROUP INTERNATIONAL: CUSTOMERS COMPLAINT ABOUT ONLINE SHOPPING
Online shopping is widely used not only in western countries but also in Asian countries like Japan and China. In China alone, the online shopping sector is rapidly increasing. A lot of consumers in the country use it to get a hassle-free shopping. However, aside from its convenience, it has become the largest target of consumer complaint in the service industry.
According to two consumer rights groups in China, consumer complaint starts to rise since 2013. The China Consumers’ Association explained that Internet access and mobile telecommunications have helped the online shopping industry to rise swiftly. However, even though it has been widely used by a lot of consumers, it has received almost half of all the consumer complaint in the sector.
The China Association for Quality Promotion has received an enormous rate of complaint about online services, especially shopping. The association handles the protection of the consumer rights. The customers file their complaint about receiving fake items, incomplete orders, fraud transactions, getting involved in a scam, and other problems.
Rising problem of online shopping
The China National Institute of Standardization has released a report about the intense competition in the industry of online retailing. They said that the companies in the sector have failed to yield the necessary improvements in their service standards.
China has a fast-developing e-commerce market. According to Wu Jingming, a professor of consumer rights law at China University of Political Science and Law, the country’s e-commerce sector has a big potential because a lot of consumers have patronized the industry due to its convenience. China has the world’s largest number of participants in the sector due to its big population. However, it also receives a high number of consumer complaint.
Wu said that the online shopping industry was built on the framework of self-regulation. It works even without the guidelines and regulations from authorities. There is more room for activities in the online shopping industry that infringe upon consumer rights. The consumers cannot solve the disputes using the traditional channels so what they can only do is to file a complaint and seek help.
Improvement for China’s consumer rights law
The China Consumer’s Association conducted a survey about this issue. Under the law that gives customers seven days to return goods for refunds, around 20 percent of consumers failed to protect their rights. Online shopping platforms also failed to provide accurate contact information for the sellers, and most importantly—their customers.
Tang Wanjin, the vice-president of China National Institute of Standardization, said that the country’s service sector is made up of many small and medium-sized companies which hindered the improvement of standards. He also said that China lacks a quality system in the service sector to push for the improvement of services.
Wu suggests that the country needs a law exclusively for the e-commerce industry. He also suggests that the penalties must increase, especially for the companies with a huge number consumer complaint. The companies must pay or compensate the customers for infringing consumer rights.
DOMINION GROUP INTERNATIONAL: THE IMPORTANCE OF REVIEW FROM CUSTOMERS
Can half a star make any difference? Online review for hotel and restaurant industry is crucial to the business. The ratings of a business may depend on different factors too.
Getting a good review is very important for restaurateurs and hotel owners. The customer’s review can make or break a business. A terrible review can close down restaurant but the good ones can boost takings.
Getting a good review
Customer ratings can affect the purchasing decision of consumers. Online star ratings can definitely affect the customers’ purchasing decisions, especially if it has a lot of good or bad review.
Based on a few studies, it is found that reviews can bring in the new customers. The increase in trade can happen even without any change in the quality of food and service, as well as prices. If a customer sees a good rating to a restaurant she’s planning to try out, then it would increase the chances of putting the plan into action.
Professors Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder, two economists at the University of California, Berkeley, have published their findings on the relationship between online star ratings and customers’ purchasing decisions. They probed 300 San Francisco restaurants and focused on the effects of positive online ratings. They collected the ratings to form a star system on Yelp.com, a popular US ratings site. They found that the half star rating can be improved and turn into full ratings at the peak dining times.
Getting a bad review
If restauranteurs and hotel owners appreciate the positive reviews, they surely don’t want to receive any negative rating. A bad review can affect the purchasing decision of potential customers or clients.
Any review will depend on the customer’s point of view. The negative rating may come from the poor service, quality of food, taste, and other various factors. Some customers also post a review to give warning. They use it as a way to inform others to try or not even attempt to try the services or products they have already experienced.
Customer ratings online
Customers are using online star rating system employed by sites like Toptable and Tripadvisor. Through those websites, they can give out stars and explain their experience during their stay.
Since we are in an age when everyone can be an online critic, the customer’s rating becomes significant. For new establishments, a good review from customers and clients is like a free advertisement. Through word of mouth or social media postings, the customers can attract their family or friends to try out the newly opened bakeshop or establishment they mentioned. It serves as a free promotion for the business.
POLICE CRACKDOWN ON HONG KONG’S ONLINE SHOPPING FRAUD
Posted by admin | Oct 31, 2017 | 0 comment
In 2017, the reports of online shopping fraud have reached to 56 percent. Different complaint has surged in Hong Kong this year. Due to the ballooning rates of reports, it has prompted the local police of the country to step up their cyber patrols and intelligence team so that they can effectively crack down on internet fraudsters.
5.7 million HK dollars has been lost to various scam between January and June. The huge amount has moved the authorities to heighten their efforts to apprehend the people behind the crime.
Online shopping in Hong Kong
Due to the popularity of e-commerce websites and online shops, shopping became convenient. Purchasing products and even services can be done online. A lot of people use this new way of shopping because it is hassle-free and easy to use.
However, although it is more convenient to use online shopping for purchasing products, the number of complaint from customers is increasing. According to the latest official figures, the number of complaint about online shopping fraud increased to 872 in just the first six months of the year. The number has almost doubled from 559 reposts in the same period last year. The total amount of losses reached HK$5.7 million that happened in the period between January and June. It has reached 54 percent year on year.
The biggest case came from a victim conned into buying a luxury handbag worth HK$66,000. The item was never delivered and the victim lost the huge amount of money paid to the fraud seller.
19 men and 11 women aged between 17 and 51 were apprehended by the police. Four ringleaders and nine other suspects from four syndicates are included on the police watch list, along with 17 suspects. They are suspected to hold bank accounts used to collect crime proceeds. They were arrested due to money laundering complaint. The authorities found out that two of the people that were apprehended had been charged with obtaining property by deception.
According to Raymond Lam Cheuk-ho, superintendent of the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau, online shopping has become prevalent in Hong Kong. It is the main factor why many people are getting involved in scam and led to the surge of complaint on fraud.
Hong Kong’s police force found that scammers pose as vendors on shopping and auction websites. The use different tactics to trick and cheat shoppers. They may sell products like electronics, luxury watches, baby clothes, handbags, concert tickets, and more. However, the problem arises when the merchandise that the customers ordered never delivered to them.
The swindlers working behind the scam also posed as shoppers. They use bounced cheques to cheat money out of legitimate sellers. Authorities have also found out that online fraudsters operate by paying holders of bank accounts between HK$1,000 and HK$3,000 to use their accounts to collect their criminal proceeds.
The reports on fraud must serve as a warning to internet users to be aware and cautious when making purchases or even selling goods online.
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