Are you an individual, a common man who toils day and night, up and down to earn three meals a day? If yes, then do you at times come home depressed with a look of betrayal on your face? There can be reasons like someone withdrew cash from your credit card and you have no clue how; the television you purchased for your family is not properly functioning, the shopkeeper refused to take the onus even though the TV is in the warranty period or somebody stole the information from your email account by hacking it?...this is the plight of today’s consumer, who at the end of the day comes back home defeated and cursing his fate and today’s world.
But one should never forget that God only helps those who help themselves. You can never be beaten unless you admit that you have lost; similarly no one can deceive you unless you let him do so. Thus, it is time for the consumers to wake up and realize that nothing will happen by sitting hands on hands, more than talking of action, one should believe in implementing or doing it. Howsoever one may try it is impractical to erase theft, fraud etc. form our society. In this case the only option left is to take preventive measures.
• The first and the foremost step for a consumer to prevent himself from cheating are to keep his eyes and ears open. Know or be aware of what is happening around you. Read the cases of various scams, thefts, burglaries, phishing scams etc. in that are highlighted in your local newspaper and also seen on television. This will keep you informed and conscious of what is going on and what can unfortunately even happen with you.
• Learn from the mistakes of your neighbors. If a shopkeeper has given a malfunctioning gadget to your neighbor, do not make the mistake of going to that shop. If somebody stole important mails from their mailbox, do make it a point to collect all your crucial mails directly from the post office.
• Never reveal personal identity to a stranger. You go for a morning walk and a man over their tries to be extra amiable even asks you to come home for lunch etc. does not imply that he wants your friendship or that he is a genuine person. So do not disclose your residence, telephone numbers, your workplace numbers etc. to him unless you gather complete information from a known person about him. Avoid giving personal details on phone. If you receive calls from unknown place that offers you some benefits and asks for your particulars, don’t be carried away by that. Tell your particulars only when you are sure that the call is genuine and that there is no other way out.
• Do not rely much on courier services. If you an access to the place where you have to deliver the parcel, take out some time and go yourself.
• Do not hand over your credit or debit cards even to your friends. It is foolish to trust someone blindly nowadays. Never tell your friends or colleagues to check your mails while you are holidaying with your family. It is not wise to let others know your password and mails.
• When you are out for shopping in the market, do not carry much cash. Keep the tentative amount and credit or debit card in case of emergency. This will not only help you do a regulated shopping but will also save you from many pitfalls.
• Before purchasing any commodity, always read the manufacturing date, the expiry date and the MRP carefully.
• Never forget to take all the bills and an assurance for the warranty period. Take the bills for each and every thing you buy and it is advisable to take things on a longer warranty basis even if you have to pay a little more for it.
• If while coming back home you lose your wallet, call up the police and register your complaint. This can protect you from the illegal use your documents by the one who picks them up. It is better that you de not carry your essentials every time you move out of the house.
• Keep all the emergency numbers (like the social security unit of your area, the police station number etc.) stored in your mobile phone. Also what is vital for your security is to keep a back up record in a diary of all the essential numbers in your phone and addresses. This will facilitate you with all the information in case you lose your mobile phone.