The proximity of Black Friday, which takes place on November 24th, Friday of next week, caused the Civil Police of Minas Gerais to make a video warning of scams. In the video, delegate Elyenni Célida, from the Specialized Consumer Protection Police Station, talks about how consumers can avoid them. Furthermore, the corporation’s website, PoliciaCivil.mg.gov.br, provides two booklets on this alert line.
The delegate remembers that the date has attractive prices and promotions considered unmissable. “These are the promises of commerce, physical and virtual, in the period, which is held annually, always on the last Friday of November. Our duty is to provide guidance on the necessary precautions that consumers must take to avoid losses and to avoid falling for scams.”
The most recurring records, according to the delegate, are purchases on fake websites and social media profiles and the acquisition of counterfeit products, purchased as if they were original. Among the tips, delegate Elyenni advises that every purchase must be preceded by research and reflection on its relevance. “Impulse transactions make consumers more susceptible to scams. In the rush to purchase a product or service, the user ends up forgetting to check the value, which may appear without the discount applied.”
She emphasizes that the consumer needs to pay attention to details, such as the total value and installments, interest, delivery time, shipping value and, mainly, if some type of payment is not included in the value, in a hidden way. insurance or extended warranty not authorized by the purchaser.
“Another tip is to research product prices in advance to check that you are not falling victim to the practice of “everything for half as much”. Days before, companies increase the prices of products so that on Black Friday they can be readjusted to the original values, that is, if a product costs R$ 100, days before, the price is raised to R$ 150, so that on Black Friday, it returns to R$ $ 100. In other words, the consumer is deceived.”
She also warns that consumers should be suspicious when a product is offered at a price much lower than those charged on the market. “This also requires attention, as it is a strong indication of fraud.”
On the Internet
Delegate Elyenni Célida warns that the digital environment can hide traps even for the most experienced user. “In Brazil, it is estimated that fraud occurs through virtual purchases every eight seconds.” The data is from Serasa Experian. For this reason, according to her, the ideal is to opt for well-known websites. “It is possible to research the reputation of companies through the website consumer.gov.br. Procon also has a list of email addresses that should be avoided.
There is also a recommendation to avoid foreign websites, as well as offers sent via social networks or email, even those sent by people you know. In these cases, the recommendation is that the purchase be made directly on the company’s website, typing the address in the browser. “Many criminals take advantage of Black Friday to send emails or messages to users reporting confirmation of a purchase or reporting a problem with a product. This is a phishing attempt, that is, to induce victims to click on fraudulent links and provide their bank details and other information”, says the delegate.
She remembers that it is also very important that the consumer update the antivirus on the device on which the purchase will be made and that they choose a reliable network. And that public networks should be avoided. To check the security of the site, the guideline is to check the https in the URL, the padlock in the navigation bar and the inscription secure site. “Payment methods, such as Pix and credit cards, are safer to make payments compared to bank slips”, says delegate Eliane.
Consumers, however, says the delegate, should be aware of companies that only accept bank slips, Pix or transfers. Therefore, all forms of payment require some level of care. And it recommends that, in the case of Pix, it is necessary to check the recipient’s data and take extra care when the beneficiary is an individual. On the invoice, check all the data, such as company name, date, CNPJ, among others.
Regarding credit cards, she says that it is recommended to opt for the single virtual card, which is offered by most financial institutions, never hand over or send photos of the card and not save card data for future purchases. The contactless card is dangerous, as anyone who has access can make purchases easily, so it is important to pay extra attention.
How to proceed
If the consumer suspects they have fallen for a scam, they must report the crime, either at a Civil Police station or through the Virtual Police Station, in the case of fraud. “To this end, it is essential that the whistleblower gathers all records of interactions with scammers to assist in investigations. “Save all information relating to the purchase, from the discount announcement to the invoice”, advises delegate Elyenni Célida.
In the case of victims of scams, the report can be made at the Virtual Police Station. The system generates a message to the user, via email, informing the Social Defense Event Registration number (Reds), as well as how to access it on the Integrated Social Defense System (Sids) website to print it. . It is also possible to file a report at a police station, in person.