As more and more people trade in foreign lands via the internet, there has been a marked jump in the number of reported frauds, scams and thefts. Up until now it had been almost impossible to chase foreign based crooks, but now the European Commission and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform have joined forces to tackle cross border disputes. The new UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) is one of 27 such centres across Europe and should now be your first port of call for cross border disputes.
The Scheme will cover goods purchased in the EU and will also take in Iceland and Norway who are both supporting the scheme. This fast track way to attack and close down the crooks who plague the internet is being hailed as a major step by many in the industry – although some are speculating that it will only force the fraudsters and crooks to other areas of the world not covered by the ECC.
So how wide spread is fraud and illegal activity in the retail market?
While it is known that this kind of activity has increased dramatically since the internet offered access to all areas of the world, it is very difficult to obtain true and accurate figures because many people are ashamed to admit their own short comings when falling for these get rich quick schemes.
Many commercial companies are very unlikely to report being the subject of such stings as it will affect their reputation, possibly alarm their customers and show them in a distinctly unflattering light. While everyone knows that the scams cannot be closed down as quickly as they should be without people coming forward, the taint on a company’s reputation may be greater than any potential financial loss.
In this kind of market the scammers are often hidden from the rest of the world, causing untold financial heartbreak for far too many people.