Warnings about falling victim to fraud when shopping online

e shopping
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AMMAN — The closure of several clothing stores, and the reluctance of some citizens to go shopping, following the COVID-19 pandemic, has significantly increased demand for online shopping, market observers say.اضافة اعلان

The newfound habit may be convenient, but it could also be plagued by problems, first and foremost fraud, blamed by industry participants on the authorities’ failure to exercise control and regulate online shopping.

Asaad Qawasmi, representative of the clothing sector at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, told Jordan News that “we have received some complaints about scams from online shoppers.”

“Complaints are related to the non-conformity of the goods received to the specifications and standards expected. Moreover, some have been dealing with fake pages that list nonexistent addresses and numbers,” he said.

Qawasmi said that “we called for controls that determine the nature of these pages and ensure that they are credible and legal.”

“This would protect consumers and merchants alike,” he said, since “it is unfortunate that these traders would ruin the reputation of other merchants who are credible.”

According to him, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply is interested in setting limits and controls to regulate the work of these pages and prevent fraud and scams.

“Of course, there is unfair competition between traditional and online merchants, and that is why it is important to have control mechanisms that organize the shopping process at all ends,” he said.

Duaa Abdel Maqsoud, a woman who was scammed when she wanted to buy a gift for her sister from a fake website, told Jordan News that “one of the websites caught my attention due to its presentation of distinctive products and merchandise at reasonable prices, but I was surprised when the product arrived and did not look like in the picture at all.”

“I normally do not buy from unknown websites, but an advertisement for this site appeared every time I opened a social networking site, and attracted my attention,” she said, adding that “dissatisfied with the quality” she tried to contact the people on the number shown on the site, “but all my attempts were unsuccessful”.

“Weeks later, I tried to open the site again, but I was not able to do so. I realized that it was there to defraud shoppers,” she said.

Mohammad Obeidat, head of the National Society for Consumer Protection, said that complaints submitted by citizens about purchases through social networking sites are “increasing on a daily basis, in the absence of official supervisory authorities of these sites that deceive and mislead citizens and make them incur financial losses”.

He stressed that “authorities should expedite the enactment of laws and legislation regulating the electronic purchase process,” and called on authorities to “conduct awareness, guidance and educational campaigns and urge citizens not to deal with these pages, unless all the information related to them, such as license, address and personal information, is provided”.

He also called on the security authorities to follow up on all websites and pages that engage in these violating activities and to refer those who manage them to the judiciary.

“Anyone who falls victim to these websites must inform the official authorities of their information, the names of the pages, their addresses, and the phone numbers of those responsible for them; in order to inflict the most severe penalties against them,” he noted.

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