RIYADH — The Consumer Protection Association (CPA) has warned on Sunday all consumers in Saudi Arabia against the electronic purchases from the accounts on Instagram platforms, in order to avoid procrastination and fraud.

CPA said that Instagram platform is a social media platform and not considered as a commercial platform, noting that they are receiving dozens of reports and complaints weekly regarding fraud or procrastination related to purchasing from Instagram accounts.

Most of the accounts on Instagram ask to transfer the money to a personal bank account, under the names of individuals inside or outside Saudi Arabia, thus, it turns the dealing between them into a dispute between individuals and not a commercial dispute, which makes the process of retrieving the money complicated and difficult as it does not fall within the framework of trade laws.

CPA said that the accounts on Instagram do not meet the e-commerce requirements imposed by the Ministry of Commerce, and the most notable of which is the lack of e-payment, lack of displaying the commercial registry and tax number.

Moreover, the failure of having a clear written policy for exchange and refund operations, and the most important thing is that the Instagram accounts are individual accounts, and not affiliated or linked to any registered establishment or companies in Saudi Arabia.

The most complaints and reports monitored by CPA are related to fraud while dealing with Instagram accounts are frauds during the purchase of clothes, abayas, e-games, recharge cards and the Internet.

CPA asked the consumers to check on validity of the commercial register when purchasing from e-stores by inquiring from the Ministry of Commerce or through the inquiring service about an online store at the association, as CPA offers a free service for all consumers in Saudi Arabia to ask about an e-store and check their validity if the site is not registered in the fraud data of CPA.

The possibility of fraud and the inability to recover money will be very high if the online store requests to transfer the purchase amount to a personal account inside or outside the Kingdom.

Also, in the event that the store requests, by sending a WhatsApp link or other social media sites, the customer to pay the amount through it, then the possibility of fraud is high.

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