People should be wary of suspicious advertising online, the Taipei Department of Legal Affairs said, following reports of Facebook posts advertising allegedly fake merchandise of Taiwan’s team at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The post advertised masks in the team’s colors and featuring its emblem, claiming that they were licensed by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, the department said.
The post also said that people who order the masks would be entered into a raffle for an official team suitcase, it added.
Photo courtesy of the Taipei Department of Legal Affairs
However, neither the masks nor the suitcase pictured in the post were licensed products, the department said, adding that its investigation into the case is focused on the company behind the post.
“The company stole the images of the masks from the Facebook page of medical supplies company Medtecs. We have seen one company after another do this since the licensed products went on sale,” it said.
The department said that it had traced the IP address behind the post to Shenzhen, China.
People should be cautious when buying goods from such companies, as they might be putting their personal information at risk, it said.
“We are seeing these ads increasingly often on Facebook, and there are similar fake ads showing up on Instagram and Line,” it said, adding that the advertisements seem to follow market trends, offering “hot products.”
Companies behind such posts often allow cash-on-delivery payments and seven-day returns to gain the trust of potential customers, the department said.
“Our best advice is to buy things directly from official Web sites or other regular retail channels, rather than clicking on Facebook or Line ads,” it said, adding that cash-on-delivery payments allow customers to refuse deliveries of goods they suspect are fake.
However, in cases where people have paid for the goods and the seller does not reply to requests to return them, they should seek assistance from the delivery company or the convenience store that handled the shipment, it said.
People who have questions or need assistance in consumer disputes should call the 1950 consumer service hotline, or the 1999 city government hotline and dial extension 7812 to reach the Taipei Department of Legal Affairs.
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