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Is Your Favourite Online Store Legit? Verify with ‘CheckMyLink’ Before Making a Purchase

New tool empowers shoppers to spot fake websites and safeguard finances in a growing online marketplace

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Rakeshh Kumar SV

Published on June 21, 2024, 17:41:21

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verify store with checkmylink

 

 

The rapid rise of e-commerce has transformed how we shop, offering unparalleled convenience and access to a global marketplace. However, this digital revolution has also opened the door to a surge in online scams.

In response to these growing concerns, the UAE has introduced a new tool called CheckMyLink to help residents and businesses distinguish legitimate websites from potential frauds.

The Growing Threat of Online Scams

According to recent statistics from the Dubai Police, online fraud cases have increased by 30 per cent over the past year. Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated, creating convincing replicas of legitimate websites to steal personal and financial information from unsuspecting shoppers.

"The growth of e-commerce has been a double-edged sword," says Major General Jamal Al Jallaf, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Dubai Police. "While it has revolutionised the way we shop, it has also provided fertile ground for cybercriminals."

Introducing CheckMyLink

To combat this menace, the UAE government has launched CheckMyLink, a free online tool designed to verify the authenticity of websites.

Developed in collaboration with cybersecurity experts and law enforcement agencies, CheckMyLink provides a simple, user-friendly platform for checking the legitimacy of any e-commerce site before making a purchase.

“CheckMyLink is part of our broader strategy to safeguard digital transactions and build consumer confidence in online shopping,” explains Mohammed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity for the UAE government. “By offering a reliable method to verify websites, we aim to reduce the incidence of online fraud and protect our residents from falling victim to scams.”

How Does CheckMyLink Work?

Using CheckMyLink is straightforward. Before making a purchase or entering sensitive information on a website, users can:

  • Visit the CheckMyLink website at www.checkmylink.ae.
  • Enter the URL of the website they want to check.
  • Receive instant feedback on the website’s authenticity.

The tool cross-references the entered URL against a database of known legitimate websites and flagged fraudulent sites. It also analyses factors such as the website’s SSL certificate, domain registration details, and user reviews.

Tips for Safe Online Shopping

While tools like CheckMyLink provide a valuable layer of protection, it’s crucial for consumers to remain vigilant. Here are some additional tips to help you shop safely online:

  • Verify the URL: Always check the website's URL for any misspellings or unusual characters. Scammers often use similar-looking addresses to deceive users.
  • Look for Security Signs: Ensure the website has a secure connection (look for "https" and a padlock symbol in the address bar).
  • Research the Website: Search for reviews and feedback from other customers. Trustworthy websites typically have a well-established online presence.
  • Use Secure Payment Methods: Opt for payment methods that offer fraud protection, such as credit cards or reputable payment services like PayPal.
  • Be Wary of Unrealistic Offers: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often lure victims with heavily discounted prices.

Legal Protections in the UAE

The UAE has robust legal frameworks in place to combat cybercrime. Under the UAE Cybercrimes Law (Federal Decree-Law No. 5 of 2012), those found guilty of online fraud can face severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.
"In the UAE, we take cybercrime very seriously," says Dr Ahmad bin Saif Al Awadhi, a legal expert specialising in cyber law. "Victims of online fraud have legal avenues for recourse, and our law enforcement agencies are equipped to handle such cases efficiently."

Conclusion

As online shopping continues to grow, so does the risk of encountering fraudulent websites. By leveraging tools like CheckMyLink and following best practices for online safety, consumers can enjoy the benefits of e-commerce with peace of mind.
For more information on how to protect yourself from online scams, visit the Dubai Police’s Cybersecurity Awareness page or the UAE Cybersecurity Council’s website.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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