Dutch regulator warns Dutch consumers about fake social media stores

The regulator had previously warned Dutch consumers about dubious online stores operating on Facebook and Instagram. However, in 2017, According to ACM, Dutch consumers made purchases of a total of €5 million at a scam stores.In addition, the ACM received hundreds of complaints from consumers. These included undelivered purchases, counterfeit clothing or products that looked very different in reality to their advertisements on the social media store.

ACM will advise consumers via radio commercials and social media advertisements to look into reviews about a salesperson, for example. The regulator said that this can indicate seller reliability.The campaign also recommends that consumers verify sellers via the Chamber of Commerce as well as via web sites especially designed by the Dutch police, where consumers are able to research notifications about potentially fake sites; e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. Furthermore, the campaign recommends that consumers use a payment method with a money-back guarantee, or to pay afterwards.According to ACM, consumers are easily scammed on social media. The regulator said that “the danger is that in that moment [when people choose to buy an item] people are not consciously focused on buying something, and then suddenly they are confronted with an offer targeted at them, the temptation is big and they are less aware of the risks.”

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