The FCCPC has issued a warning to the Nigerian public to avoid shopping at fraudulent internet retailers during the upcoming “Black Friday” deals.

On Thursday, FCCPC’s Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Babatunde Irukera made the announcement in an advisory statement.

Irukera claims the Commission expects a 135 percent increase in scam websites.

The Commission advised Nigerians to be wary and use only reputable services to meet their needs.

“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has received credible intelligence that the traditional seasonal sales at deep discounts on a specific Friday, also known as ‘Black Friday,’ may see an increase of fake online stores by 135%, including scams, misrepresentation, and other exploitative conduct. This information is supported by publicly available reports such as Netcraft.

According to him, the Commission wants people to be “vigilant and discerning” during this time so that they can demand and insist on their rights, especially in regards to complete and transparent disclosures.

Netcraft, a research group, had earlier sounded the alert on the proliferation of bogus internet retailers ahead of Black Friday sales, which formally kick-started on 24th-27th November after the United Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Netcraft reports that phishing websites pose as reputable businesses and trick customers with phony discounts and high-end designs.

An estimated N193.5 billion ($544 million) was lost to financial fraud in 2021, up sharply from the N153.4 billion ($431 million) stolen the previous year.

A possible decrease in purchasing power and an increase in the cost of life for Nigerians may have resulted from the skyrocketing inflation rate, which jumped to 27.33 percent.

In addition, Thursday’s FX rate of N956.33 to $1 demonstrated how the ongoing foreign exchange crisis is having a lasting impact on Nigeria’s spending habits.

Given the country’s current economic situation, a large number of Nigerians would likely be enticed to shop during the Black Friday bargains.

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