BDO Unibank cautioned clients who shop online against fake sellers, saying some scammers pretend to be page administrators of online shops and bait victims with attractive deals.
“They lure interested buyers in social media and messaging app communities, and urge them into making a deposit immediately to seal the deal. After getting the payment, they become unreachable,” the bank said.
Other fake social media sellers post “PM is key,” which means buyers should send them a private message to know the product’s price and other details. BDO said this tactic is a red flag and against the law. Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act as well as RA No. 7581 require all sellers to display product prices explicitly.
Non-compliance, according to the Department of Trade and Industry, can result in a fine from P5,000 to P2 million and may face maximum imprisonment of 15 years. Consumers may report vendors, online or otherwise, who violates this law to the DTI.
“With the new normal driving more people to shop online, BDO reminds its clients to be wary of vendors they negotiate with on social media. While not all are scammers, some are—so it’s urgently crucial to stay vigilant and get to know them well before sending them money,” the bank said.