FCCC urges people to be aware of advertisements claiming to offer free government-sponsored medical benefits

FCCC urges people to be aware of advertisements claiming to offer free government-sponsored medical benefits

By Karishma Kumari
Monday 22/04/2024
FCCC CEO, Joel Abraham

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging the public to exercise caution when encountering online advertisements claiming to offer free government-sponsored medical insurance or similar benefits and advising against interacting with such links, as they may lead to fraudulent websites aimed at collecting personal information.

This is after FCCC identified a series of online scams targeting Fijian seniors with offers of free health insurance through various social media platforms and websites, prompting individuals to click on links to claim the supposed benefits.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica says while the Government is committed to tackling such fraudulent activities through its multi-agency task force, citizens need to exercise vigilance as well.

He says official communication regarding government programs will come through verified channels, such as the Fiji Government and its Ministries’ social media pages which will include clear contact information from the respective ministry or government body.

Kamikamica also encourages people to double-check through their official channels before giving out any personal information as it is up to the citizens to remain vigilant against these deceptive tactics, which can result in financial losses and personal distress.

FCCC CEO, Joel Abraham, added that the true threat of these scam advertisements is how sophisticated they are as people can be easily misled if they do not do their due diligence.

He urges people to always be sceptical of such offers because if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

He encourages people to never click on any links or buttons in these ads as these are tactics used by scammers to phish for personal information or install harmful software on their devices.

The CEO advises people to verify the authenticity of any offer by contacting the official government helpline, refrain from sharing personal, financial, or family information online, especially in response to unsolicited offers and avoid clicking on any links or buttons that promise government benefits without proper verification.

Abraham further says if anyone has been duped by such scams they need to report the matter immediately to the Online Safety Commission or the Cyber Crime Unit of the Fiji Police Force.

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