BDO cautions clients against fake online sellers
BDO Unibank cautions clients who purchase online against bogus traders. Some of these scammers, usually acting to be page administrators of online shops, lure victims with attractive deals. They attract interested buyers in social media and messaging app communities, and drive them to make an immediate deposit to seal the deal. After getting the payment, they become unreachable.
Other fake social media traders post “PM is key,” which means buyers should send them a private message to know the product’s price and other details. BDO asserts that this tactic is a red flag and against the law. The Republic Act (RA) No. 7394 and RA No. 7581 both require all sellers to display product prices clearly and thoroughly.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) states non-compliance may result in a fine from P5,000 to P2 million. The offender may face a maximum imprisonment of 15 years, too. Consumers may report vendors – online or otherwise – who infringe this law to the DTI.
With our current situation, many are prompt to shop online. BDO reminds its clients to be careful of vendors they transact with online. Though not all are scammers, some are—so it’s essentially crucial to stay alert and know them well before sending payment.
Spot scammers through these red flag signs:
- They offer branded goods with prices that are remarkably lower than their market value. “All in na po ‘yan!” is a standard answer. Remember the saying: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
- They entice buyers by building big expectations, yet do not provide adequate data about the product’s features and history. “These are all original po, galing sa US, good quality!” Often, they give contradictory answers when buyer clarifies.
- Scammers are vague and elusive. They provide few to no information at all with regards to delivery and refund or return policies. “Once payment has been sent, pa-deliver po namin sa address nyo” is a usual promise. They also do not display contact details on their profiles.
- Fake sellers not only insist on immediate payments but also outside the legitimate shopping platform. Often, they encourage their victims to settle payment through direct deposits to their accounts. “That’s last stock na. Pay na kayo para di na mapunta sa iba. Send payment to my bank account imbes sa shopping website para mas mabilis transaction natin.” Additional discounts are possible, too, to persuade and hasten the transaction.
- As an alternative payment scheme, they may ask for their victim’s credit card number to complete the transaction themselves. They will also ask for other personal details like birthday, mother’s mother’s maiden name, and other private information.
Protecting personal information
BDO prompts clients never to permit anyone to make deals on their behalf by giving their personal information. With your personal information in their hands, they can steal not just your identity but your savings from your bank account. One-Time Pins (OTPs), which serves as another layer of protection when you bank online, is a personal information, too.
OTPs are used only for a short period. They are unique six-character codes the bank sends to complete a mobile number’s registration to BDO Online Banking and confirm an online transaction.