Beware of False Online and Mobile Banking Agents
2020-04-15The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) would like to warn the general public to be cautious of suspected false online banking agents masquerading as employees for various banking institutions in the country to steal from unsuspecting consumers in the wake of COVID-19.
This comes after the Commission received complaints from the general public who allege to have been victimized by unscrupulous individuals claiming to be bank agents soliciting for personal banking details from unsuspecting consumers in order to hack into their system and steal money.
CCPC Director Consumer Protection Brian Lingela has issued the warning observing that with the use of online and mobile banking services in view of the COVID 19 outbreak that has necessitated the use of online and mobile banking services, consumers of such services were now at risk of being attacked by fraudsters posing as online commercial bank agents to extort money.
“We have noticed that since most consumers now use online and mobile banking services as an alternative to physical banking following COVID 19, fraudsters are moving swiftly to try and extort money by phoning unsuspecting consumers asking them to change their personal details like the Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to for instance migrate them to a bank’s new system when in fact not.”
He has urged Consumers to take precautionary measures by verifying the authenticity of such suspected online and mobile banking agents with respective
commercial banks and ensure that they do not disclose their personal banking information such as names, account, PIN numbers as well as National Registration Card (N.R.C) details to suspicious individuals to avoid being swindled.
The Commission will work with the Zambia Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ZICTA) and Zambia Police to ensure that perpetrators of such fraudulent conduct are identified and punished. Such fraudulent conduct is prohibited under Section 308 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia and offenders are liable to imprisonment for 3 years
CCPC Warns Business Outlets Against Excessive Pricing of Sanitary Products for Prevention of Covid-19
2020-03-20The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is concerned with and would like to warn all individuals and businesses who are excessively pricing the cost of sanitary products for the prevention of Covid-19.
From the preliminary investigations conducted by the Commission, it has been noted that some deceitful traders across the country are taking advantage of the current situation to overcharge on sanitary products like masks, gloves and hand sanitizers to the detriment of consumers.
The Act provides for the Commission’s functions under Section 5 being among others to : review the trading practices pursued by enterprises doing business in Zambia; investigate unfair trading practices and unfair contract terms and impose such sanctions as may be necessary; act as a primary advocate for competition and effective consumer protection in Zambia and do all such acts and things as are necessary, incidental or conducive to the better carrying out of its functions under this Act.
The Commission thus wishes to warn all perpetrators that such unjustified high pricing of these essential products is unlawful as provided for under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010 and will not hesitate to impose necessary sanctions on erring enterprises.
The Commission is thus appealing to all business outlets to desist from charging unreasonably high prices as this is against the law and affects public health. In view of the foregoing pandemic, the Commission through its inspectors across the country will ensure that all individuals and companies exacerbating such conduct are identified and punished.
Although hand sanitisers are one of the convenient products of maintaininghygiene during this pandemic, consumers are advised to use other hygiene products such as hand wash or any other anti-bacterial soaps which are readily available in most retail outlets around the country. The Commission also encourages and advises consumers to report
any of the enterprises engaging in such conduct in order for the Commission to take necessary action using ththe Commission’s Toll-Free Line 5678 on all mobile networks or by email: email@example.com during working hours. Consumers are further urged to ensure that they obtain receipts for all such transactions and that the said receipts should be safely kept and submitted to the Commission for investigation purposes. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the Commission) is a Statutory Body whose existence has been continued under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (the Act) No. 24 of 2010 following the repeal and replacement of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, 1994. The objective of the Act places responsibility on the Commission to safeguard and promote competition and protect consumers against unfair trade practices.
CCPC Warns False Sellers of Products Purporting to Cure Coronavirus
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is warning all companies and individuals that are selling products not medically tested and approved for treatment or prevention of the Coronavirus.
This concern comes after CCPC received a warning from the COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) that all companies and individuals perpetrating such conduct are liable to punishment pursuant to Article 27 of the COMESA Competition Commission regulations which include sanctions of up to USD 300,000
Considering the forgoing epidemic, CCPC is advising consumers in the common market to exercise caution by ensuring that they look out for such scams and report any suspicions to the CCPC or the Ministry of Health (MoH) on the toll free lines 5678 and 909 respectively.
Further, consumers are advised to follow advice on prevention of the corona Virus from the relevant institution’s websites such as the Ministry of Health (MoH), World Health Organization (WHO), Centre for Diseases and Prevention (CDC) including their local public authorities.
Zambia Suspends Public Gathering Activities During 2020 WCRD Commemoration
2020-03-11Zambia, together with the rest of the world commemorates the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) on 15th March of every year.
This year’s WCRD is being commemorated under the theme, “The Sustainable Consumer”. The sustainable consumer has been defined as one who improves social and environmental performance as well as meets their needs without compromising those of future generations.
In order to achieve our objective in fostering education and awareness initiatives, the National Organizing Committee made up of Government Ministries, Sector Regulators, Academia, Civil Society Organisations and Private Sector was set up to plan various activities to build awareness around sustainable consumption and related issues.
To this effect, the Committee this year has decided to move away from conducting traditional public gathering activities like exhibitions, road shows and match pasts due to Coronavirus concerns.
However, the Committee has lined up a number of media activities in a bid to effectively communicate and reach out to the masses. These activities include press briefings, radio and TV programmes, documentaries as well as newspaperarticles and booklets.
These activities are meant to build awareness on sustainable consumption to ensure that consumers and businesses are reminded about being sustainable consumers.
Further, the Committee invites all consumers and businesses to join in this commemoration and ensure that the commemoration of this event is an aid to consumers’ behavioral change on sustainable consumption for the growth and benefit of the Zambian people and its economy at large.