Black Friday Sales: Commission alerts Nigerians on fake online stores

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has warned Nigerians against patronizing fake online stores ahead of the customary seasonal sales, known as ‘Black Friday’.

Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC disclosed this in an advisory statement on Thursday.

According to Irukera, the Commission foresees a 135 per cent rise in fake online stores.

The Commission said Nigerians should be vigilant and only patronize trusted and credible platforms to satisfy their needs.

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“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has received credible intelligence that the customary seasonal sales at deep discounts on a specific Friday, otherwise known as ‘Black Friday’, may witness an increase of fake online stores by 135%, including scams, misrepresentation and other exploitative conduct. This information is corroborated by publicly available reports such as Netcraft.

“The Commission advises consumers to be vigilant and discerning in this period and to demand and insist on their rights, particularly concerning full and transparent disclosures,” he said.

Netcraft, a research group, had earlier raised the alarm on the rise of fake online stores ahead of Black Friday sales, which officially kick-started on 24th-27th November after the United Thanksgiving Day celebration.

According to Netcraft, fraudulent online stores use different techniques, including offering bogus discounts and impersonating luxurious, fake websites to deceive their victims.

A report said financial fraud in 2021 was valued at N193.5 billion ($544 million), a significant increase from the N153.4 billion ($431 million) lost in 2020.

However, the soaring inflation rate, which increased to 27.33 per cent, may have reduced Nigerians’ purchasing power and increased the cost of living.

Also, the persistent foreign exchange crisis, as FX hit N956.33/$1 on Thursday, has continued to affect Nigeria’s consumption trend.

These harsh economic realities would no doubt lure many Nigerians into patronising Black Friday sales.

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