CAC warns public to be vigilant when shopping online
Information Technology Manager, Consumer Affairs Commission, Andrew Evelyn, at a recent Jamaica Information Service Think Tank.

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Customers should be vigilant when shopping online, the Consumer Affairs Commission [CAC] has advised.

Speaking during a recent Jamaica Information Service ‘Think Tank’, Information Technology Manager at the CAC, Andrew Evelyn said, “We have criminal actors currently on the internet trying to extract your money and we want to ensure that our consumers are protected or they practice safe internet usage.”

The number-one tip for shopping online, according to Evelyn, is using familiar websites.

“If you've used a website in the past and you’ve received the item, try and stick to it – use it again,” Evelyn advised.

He warned against unscrupulous online vendors who do not necessarily take the consumer’s interest into consideration, but instead are highly profit driven.

In addition, he said misleading social media advertisements are a major shopping scam and so consumers should carefully check advertisements that they come across.

“You need to check the ad; you need to check the website that it carries you to, to see if it is a legitimate website,” said Evelyn.

He added that consumers can use the Better Business Bureau website to check if it has any report on a particular website and be alerted not to use it.

The CAC information technology manager noted that it is important to ensure that there is contact information on websites being used to make a purchase “so you can actually call their number and do your checks”.

Evelyn further urged consumers to be careful of “lookalike websites” when browsing the internet which he said is a tactic used to scam consumers who shop online.

“Check the URL to ensure that the name of the business is spelt correctly because oftentimes they use a different spelling,” he said.

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