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DTI cautions public on bogus ‘sales people’ lurking in malls

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry-Cebu is warning the public against sweet-talking sales people approaching customers within the premises of malls in the city.

In an advisory released by provincial director Maria Elena Arbon yesterday, consumers are advised to exercise caution in dealing with sales people mostly from pre-need and retail insurance companies, who are trying to lure innocent customers.

Arbon said these executive-looking sales people are "lurking and waiting to prey on innocent consumers, and ganging up on them like a pack of wolves with their sugar-coated sales talk."

She added these sales staff usually make representations disguised as overzealous marketing strategies and under the pretext of promotional sales.

The DTI said their modus operandi includes befriending a potential victim by first showing their mall ID and convincing the unwary person that he or she one of the chosen few to get the mall's promo worth P1,500 but ending up asking if he or she has a credit card.

Then a reverberating congratulations usually follows after these bogus sales people get a positive answer.

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These bogus sales people normally ask 30 minutes of the time of their potential victims to ask certain questions that are directed to bloat their ego.

Once they have introduced their company, the DTI said these sales staff would stress that they're not only into health insurance but also into savings investment.

They would usually force their potential victims to fill out information including their name and bank account details.

The DTI has warned to never disclose personal information especially bank account details and never swipe their credit card in situations like these.

The trade agency said there have been complaints such as victims having to pay P500 for a dental insurance and an incident where the victim was made to swipe his credit card and was charged thousands of pesos.

This modus operandi usually varies with various pre-need and retail insurance firms.

The DTI reiterated the public must always mindful especially when dealing sales people in inappropriate places.

The agency stressed the best protected consumers are those that are vigilant and well-informed. (FREEMAN)

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