CAC urges consumers to be aware of scammers

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is appealing to shoppers and consumers in general to be extremely mindful of scams and other fraudulent activities which are prevalent during the Yuletide season.

“The scams are many and varied, so do not be quick to act or accept offers,” Chief Executive Officer at the CAC, Dolsie Allen, warned.

She cited various signs that people should look out for to avoid a scam, such as being contacted “out of the blue” by telephone, mail or email; being asked to pay money up-front or to buy a product in order to claim your prize, or being notified that you have won a ‘prize,’ but have not knowingly entered any competition.

“If you are being asked to provide your bank account, credit card details or other confidential information and being told to keep the offer a secret, these are usually situations where you may be facing or have faced a scam,” Allen pointed out.

She advised people to contact their bank, building society or credit card company and close accounts in cases where information and details have been given out to a third party that they do not know or trust.

On the matter of using debit and credit cards to conduct transactions, Allen is warning people to be cautious in how they display cards and to be present or “in view” while the transaction is being done.

“I am cautioning persons, especially in situations when they go to the gas stations, particularly women, who prefer to sit in their cars while the attendant facilitates the transaction, that it is better to step out and be present when the transaction is taking place. Always be alert, don’t be distracted by the attendants or other people at the gas station, but pay attention to what the attendant is doing and ensure that the correct amount of gas that was requested is pumped into the vehicle,” Allen implored.

She cautioned people while at an ABM to “be alert and mindful of your surrounding…use your hand or body to cover the keypad while you enter your pin and information, so that persons cannot see.”

“We have to protect ourselves a little more as the reality is that there are unscrupulous persons out there who just plan how to beat the system.”

Allen also warned individuals to be extremely alert while on the plazas with shopping bags. “It is better and safer to have persons accompany you or make trips to the vehicle and lock bags away in the trunk where they are out of sight, than to struggle with several bags while going in and out of stores,” she said.

 

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