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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK launches a campaign titled "Check, read, ask!"

< previous | next > 20.07.2020

UOKiK launches a campaign titled "Check, read, ask!"
  • A nationwide social campaign initiated by the President of UOKiK kicks off on 15th July.
  • The Office warns against fraudsters and the risk of losing money.
  • A risk-free big, quick profit? Alleged medications or mysterious medical devices? Consumer, beware! You may get tricked!
  • Do not let yourself be fooled or deceived: “Check, Read, Ask!”

The campaign launched by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is aimed at drawing the public's attention to the increased threat of unfair market practices and fraud due to the current extraordinary circumstances. According to consumer complaints, many people are offered alternative financial investments that deceitfully promise fast, safe and high returns at no risk. Consumers are also tempted to purchase products or services that deceitfully offer health care or medical treatment.

“In view of the numerous complaints and feedback from consumers, we have developed an awareness-raising campaign, including two communications to TV and radio, which aim to increase consumers’ awareness and safety,” says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

Alternative financial investments

In harsh times, it is easier to fall into the trap and be fooled by a fraudulent financial investment. Fraudsters know perfectly well how to take advantage of social unrest and uncertainty. Offers of alternative investments in non-standard assets, currencies, goods or raw materials promise a sustainable and secure profit for a high percentage and then they turn out to be a financial fiasco.

One should also beware of investment projects with a small entry fee, which require promoting the project among friends in order to receive shares. These usually turn out to be financial pyramids.

Remember, "bargains” that are too good to be true in most cases turn out to be a fraud and instead of making profits you may lose  ― all your savings. Internet, social media this is where these threats are most likely to lurk for you.

“I warn against investing money in pyramid-type promotional schemes. This may be, e.g., an investment project with a small entry fee, part of which is to be allocated to charity, and in order to receive shares you have to promote the scheme among your friends. We should also be very cautious about the so-called chain letters,” adds Tomasz Chróstny.

Fraudulent product or service health care

In harsh times, it is easier to fall into the trap and be fooled by a product or service offer that makes false promises of health care or medical treatment, e.g. through the effects of alleged medicines or devices. We should be cautious about advertisements and do not let ourselves be fooled, even if the swindlers impersonate doctors, experts, renowned research institutes or miraculously "healed" individuals.

Elderly consumers are particularly vulnerable to such fraudulent practices and scams our parents, grandparents, neighbours. They are the ones the vendors call or even worse visit them at home, using various tricks and manipulations: a delusion of a unique opportunity, false debt of gratitude, deceptive sympathy, alleged discounts and gratuities and the need to make a decision “right here and right now".

Consumers often suffer serious financial losses when buying from crooked sellers. More importantly, the problem applies also to seniors, since they tend to be more trustful and less likely to claim their rights,” adds Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.

“Check, Read, Ask!”

This is the slogan of the campaign initiated by President of the UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny and at the same time an appeal to consumers. You do not want to get fooled and lose money? This is how you can protect yourself against it:

  • Check the offers very carefully - especially those from unknown individuals or organizations.
  • Never believe in fast, secure and high profit with no risk!
  • Do not yield to pressure to make immediate transfers, especially to unknown accounts.
  • Check out the ads that pop up when you use social media - sometimes they involve paid services and inviting your friends to business projects that are in fact financial pyramids.
  • Financial pyramids are camouflaged - neutral or friendly looking websites, promoting e.g. business ventures, free on-line training, social initiatives.
  • A reliable retailer provides his company details on the website - if they are not there, do not trust him.
  • Stay cautious about the offers of vendors who want to visit you and present with a product or device.
  • Be careful if someone calls you with an offer of a magical, healing product or device - it is probably a well prepared fraudster who will sell you something worthless.
  • Read the documents you sign.
  • Give yourself time to make a decision - if somebody tells you to make it immediately as the opportunity will not happen again, they probably want to cheat you.
  • Ask your friends or loved ones for their opinion or advice.
  • If you suspect fraud, report it to the police.

Joint Action Better Results

UOKiK developed two 30-second spots to be broadcast on TV, radio, Internet and public space media. On 15th July, the campaign kicks off on Polish Television and Polish Radio. However, awareness-raising and education activities are most effective in the case of cooperation among many stakeholders at the same time.

“I cordially encourage the media, institutions and NGOs to join in our campaign. Any form of support for the action will ensure its wider outreach and thus protecting a wider range of consumers against fraudulent activities,” stresses Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.

The spots are available at UOKiK.

For more information please visit:
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection
Magdalena Trusińska
tel. 22 55 60 136
e-mail: [SCODE]bWFnZGFsZW5hLnRydXNpbnNrYUBnbWFpbC5jb20=[ECODE]

Attached files

 

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