Consumer Day is not only a time to raise awareness about consumer relations, but also an excellent opportunity to buy products at a discount. This is because, during the week of March 15, physical and online stores in Brazil publish numerous promotions and offers with special conditions. But, just like on Black Friday, the consumer must prepare in advance. So, check out some tips below on how to protect yourself during your purchases during this period:
Track prices before buying
To avoid misleading advertisements, such as the famous “half the double”, it is important for the consumer to make a list of which items he intends to buy in the promotion and to follow the prices before the Consumer Week. That way it will be possible to check if the discount is really true. Some sites such as Buscapé and Zoom can be great allies in this task, since they exhibit product price variations over time.
Offers by email, SMS and sponsored links
A strategy widely used by criminals on promotional dates is to send offers via email and cell phone messages. The goal is to attract consumers to fake websites, which simulate official stores. The changes can be so minimal that the consumer will never suspect fraud.
This also occurs on sponsored links on social networks, where criminals can boost their ads through hashtags related to the event. Therefore, if you encounter any of these situations, do not click on the indicated link. Check the veracity of the offer directly on the official website of the store.
Prices that change at the time of payment
During Consumer Week, it is possible to access numerous advantageous offers. However, on some sites, discounts “disappear” when paying. In these situations, if the customer does not verify the final purchase price, he will end up paying a higher than expected price. As in other cases, this practice is considered a violation of consumer rights and victims can sue Procon.
Sites that request data before purchase
Promotional periods are a big deal for the illegal capture of personal data. There are countless ways to do this, one of which is through websites that request information from the customer even before he adds something to the cart.
If you see this practice during Consumer Week, be careful! Criminals use this data to create fake Internet profiles, make purchases and even take out loans on behalf of the victim.
Misleading advertising and fraud: how to report?
If you are the target of one of these criminal practices, you can report it online. Since 2014, with the creation of the Consumidor.gov website by the Federal Government, the process has become faster, easier and more intuitive. Through this channel, customers can report abusive practices and crimes against the consumer.
Just access the website https://www.consumidor.gov.en/, click on the search bar and insert the name of the responsible company. Then, you must complete the form displayed on the website. At this time, it is important that you gather as much information as possible, including prints, that prove what happened.
If the company does not seek a solution to your problem, call Procon. To do this, access the website of the agency in your state or call the corresponding service channel.