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Stricter Regulations Aim to Combat E-Commerce Fraud

10 January 2020 - 15:16 by Graham Miller

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The plague of phoney reviews placed on shopping sites by underhanded brands looking to boost the profile of their products is definitely a problem, especially for higher-profile outlets like eBay and Amazon.

Now a new set of regulations governing the exploitation of online reviews solutions will aim to reduce the prevalence of this type of fraud, according to Internet Retailing.

Consumers who want to carry out safe shopping online will be able to put more trust in the feedback they see on social media sites like Facebook, which have integrated advertising and shopping functions similar to those of standalone e-commerce sites.

One of the most important aspects of these new EU rules is that they will require sellers on marketplace sites to let potential customers know whether they are an individual selling privately or a trader who makes a living from dealing in goods on these platforms.

Fake reviews will be outlawed under these regulations, and it will also become illegal for sites to promote discounts which are not all they seem to be, targeting problematic practices associated with misleading information on price reductions.

Even price comparison sites will be impacted by the rollout of these rules, since they will be required to let customers know the factors which are being taken into account when they provide rankings for different products and services.

Finally, the rules will give consumers more powers to seek compensation in the event that they fall foul of the various underhanded tactics outlined above.

Nations within the EU have 24 months to implement the regulations domestically, which means that there is uncertainty as to whether or not the UK will abide by them according to how Brexit plays out, even if ultimately these seem like sensible steps to take from a consumer perspective.