12.12 Sale Scam? How to File a Legal Complaint
Online shopping has reached an all-time high partially because of the pandemic.
Unfortunately, that means even some illegitimate sellers have gone digital.
Some scams are clearly obvious. The seller will take your cash but deliver nothing at all.
Others are less obvious but are still illegal.
The Consumer Act protects Filipino buyers against deceptive sales practices. These include making it appear there are accessories or benefits that aren’t there, advertising one thing but delivering something else, and pretending an item is new when it is not.
Examples of these deceptive sales practices:
- Posting a picture of a laptop with charger but not indicating that you are only giving a laptop
- Promoting oils for supposed health benefits that actually do not have health benefits
- Advertising an Iphone X specifications but delivering an Iphone V
- Selling a two-year old car as brand new
These people can actually go to jail for scamming others and that under our Cybercrime Prevention Law, the penalty of crimes committed through the internet is one (1) degree higher meaning they can be imprisoned for years.
The easiest way is to file a complaint is to report it the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). We have prepared an editable copy of the DTI Complaint form here. You can find out more details on their website.
If there was online fraud constituting a cybercrime, you can also complain to the Philippine National Police at hotline number 7230401 loc 5313 or email at [email protected].
The Department of Justice has prepared a very helpful advisory on online shopping fraud.
Remember that sometimes leaving a bad review or reporting to Shopee or Lazada isn’t enough.
You can still assert your rights when you buy online.
Digest is a one-stop shop for Philippine laws, lawyers, and contracts.