Online shopping has become a huge part of our daily lives. More so during this pandemic when shopping online is often the safest way to do so. While companies are naturally trying their best to capitalise on this, it has also led to scammers trying to exploit the opportunity.

Of late, a number of fake Flipkart and Amazon India clones have started showing up in social media ads. While we haven’t come across these ads so far, one of our readers has sent us a couple of screenshots of these scam ads showing up on their Facebook feed.

As seen in the screenshot, the ad hopes to fool people into thinking they might actually score an iPhone 11 for Rs. 4,999. That in itself is a huge indication that this isn’t a legit website. However, one might be tempted to take a look at the deal, which is what these scam ads want after all.

Also, in order to trick consumers into thinking the ad is actually from Flipkart, the URL below the ad is ‘filpkar1.com’, and the name says ‘Filpkart Sales’. At first glance one might not notice that it doesn’t say Flipkart at all. The URLs redirect to a really poorly done clone of the Flipkart website, complete with the ‘Explore Plus’ badge under the site logo.

Naturally, I tried to see what happens if I actually try to buy something off this website. One, the search box doesn’t work. Neither does the hamburger menu. There are a couple of phones to choose from and when you click on Buy Now, you can fill up your address, phone number, and then proceed to payment. At that point, the website got stuck on a redirect.

Now, I don’t know if this is intentional on the scammer’s part. Maybe they just wanted clicks on the advertisement and score some addresses and emails. Or maybe the redirect just isn’t working for me, but it might work otherwise.

How to Stay Safe from Such Scams

Most often, scams like these show up as ads, or sometimes in your inbox. The best thing to do is to use a little common sense. In most cases clone websites have problems such as the ones we saw with this particular Flipkart clone. They look different, things might not work properly, etc.

However, if a website looks perfect to you, but the deal is just too good to be true, take a look at the URL. This can’t be faked. You can’t have ‘flipkart.com’ or ‘amazon.in’ pointing to a different website than the original.

As you can see, that’s not the Flipkart URL.

However, sometimes scammers try and get around this by using subdomains to trick you. That’s the case with another scam website that was reported on Twitter. The URL there was “https://amazon.in-live.samsung-galaxy-m31-sale.co/”.

That’s not the Amazon India website.

Similar rules apply to emails, by the way. Always check the sender before you download attachments or click on links within emails.

We have reported these websites, but if you guys come across any similar websites or scams, do report them, and let us know about them as well. Moreover, never give out your personal information, or make a payment on websites like these. Stay safe, and happy browsing!

h/t: Raghavendra Jang