Thursday, August 05, 2021

Buyers warned of holiday online scams

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Central Luzon is warning consumers this holiday season when transacting or buying online.

DTI-Central Luzon Director Judith P. Angeles reminded buyers to be alert and wary of scams being perpetrated only through different schemes.

Among the scams done by unscrupulous individuals are fake charities, holiday smishing, cyber theft, bogus gift certificates, unregistered holiday raffle promotions and malicious e-shopping websites.

"For fake charities, scammers take advantage of the generosity and compassion of individuals during the holiday season by making unauthorized and fake solicitation letters from unknown groups to gain financially," she added.

Angeles also noted that scammers use “smishing” or phishing via text messages, texting individuals from a supposedly roaming number and saying they “have won” in a fictitious raffle.

"They are also resorting to cyber theft, wherein scammers ask individuals to supposedly “download an app” from an unsafe website and then ask for their bank details," she said.

Bogus gift certificates, on the other hand, are sold by unauthorized sellers from various outlets and will not be honored by establishments.

"Unregistered and fake holiday raffle promos are also prevalent during the Christmas season. Scammers spread raffle promos in social media promising big prizes which may not be existent," Angeles said.

She also warned of malicious e-shopping websites, where scammers defraud buyers by posting too good to be true shopping opportunities and promises of instant delivery of the products, which may be inexistent.

"Usually, e-shopping websites have unsecured websites and many click advertisements. Their e-shopping transactions usually do not contain any terms and conditions," she said.

To avoid being scammed online, the DTI said consumers are advised to be watchful and vigilant when transacting online.

Angeles said buyers should check the details of the products they are buying and transact online with authorized and legitimate sellers.

"Let us be wary of such modus operandi to avoid being scammed by unscrupulous individuals, especially this holiday season," she said.


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