Many consumers lose their money because they buy goods in e-shops that fail to provide any contact details and sales conditions. However, this is the elementary sign of fraud or unfair vendors who either don’t send any goods at all or the goods is of poor quality. On today’s Safer Internet Day, the European Consumer Centre warns: e-shops without any existing contact address aren’t trustworthy.
„Recently a number of people have turned to us after having purchased footwear, clothing, handbags or perfumes in a professionally and European like looking e-shops that didn’t provide any general terms and conditions and contact details. A contact form cannot is not sufficient,” says Ondřej Tichota from the European Consumer Centre by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority. “It is not fully applicable any more that bad Czech grammar used in an ad or on a website is the main sign of a fraudster.”
Some Asian sellers also have their for example .de websites indicating that it is a German site, but the sales contract is not governed by the European legislation. The consumer loses their right for withdrawal from the contract and to claim defects of purchased goods. People often find this out only when a problem occurs and it is hard to solve it.
Eurostat data show that the increase within the number of Czechs who shop online has been highest in the European Union. 32% of Czechs purchased at least once in 2012, while 47% in 2016. Nonetheless, the EU average is 2% higher given the major online buyers are Brits and Danes with more than 80%.
“Eurostat survey among hundreds of thousands of EU inhabitants showed that 3% of online shoppers became victims of frauds. Average cost on online purchases was between 100 and 500 EUR, so it is worth noticing how traders presents themselves before sending them any amount,” alerts Ondřej Tichota and notes that payment methods can be another indicator of trustworthiness. Card payments on secured payment gates and electronic payment systems are considered reliable means.
Some of the above mentioned information are provided by a number of fraudulent e-shops, so it is good to spend several seconds or minutes on checking seller’s trustworthiness. How to do it is on the website of ECC CZ www.europeanconsumer.com/fraud.