Issue of October 7, 2018
Mt. Province

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As the country observes Consumer Welfare Month with focus on how to make the digital marketplace a fair ground for transacting businesses, stakeholders should first understand the way the Internet altered the manner by which sellers and the buyers carry out their transactions and to be more prudent in dealing with people or groups on cyberspace.

While the Internet, which gave rise to electronic commerce or e-commerce, may have brought a lot of conveniences in terms of product and services marketing and promotion, it has also made it easier for ruthless individuals to perpetuate their wickedness and for gullible individuals to become more vulnerable to becoming victims.

Among other things, social media platforms have made it easier for entrepreneurs to reach as many consumers by breaking geographical barriers in a short time by simply posting their products or services on their social media accounts.

This has also made it easier for consumers to purchase goods or services without having to leave their homes or offices, saving them time and effort.

Unfortunately, the convenience enjoyed by shoppers and entrepreneurs through online transactions is also the same convenience enjoyed by unscrupulous individuals in victimizing people.

We do not discourage the adoption of technology since admittedly, we are a nation of laggards when it comes to technological advancement; we simply want to emphasize that as we embrace progress, our level of cleverness and vigilance, as consumers and entrepreneurs should also be enhanced.

Specifically, we call on social media users to shun offers for them to invest in an online scheme that promises them to earn money by simply creating social media accounts, paying a membership fee, and earn the equivalent cash rewards.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has already warned the public to avoid putting in their money in such kinds of online investments, as these are oftentimes unauthorized and violate existing laws.

We are convinced that any investment-taking activities that lack licenses from regulating bodies are bogus. No legitimate investment company would want to tarnish its reputation by failing to abide by the laws.

Online investment schemes are just like the ones perpetrated the traditional way – they only leave victims often at the losing end.

We share the call of the SEC and other concerned agencies advocating consumer rights and welfare for the public to avoid pretentious investment offers or those that promises returns that are too good to be true.

Here in the localities, dubious investment firms that offered double your money scheme have embezzled millions of hard-earned monies from countless individuals, including government retirees and executives, but many victims never learned lessons from their mistakes.

We have been witnesses to how traditional investment scams have left a lot of gullible investors and their families in miserable situations. Let us not allow this to happen to more individuals in these times when the traditional markets or stores are becoming things of the past.

As we continue to embrace e-commerce, let us be more vigilant and smarter consumers and sellers, because these are best ways we could “make the digital marketplaces fairer.”

Simply put, “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is not.”



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