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    How online platforms fight coronavirus scams

    Several online platforms have pledged to fight scams. Credit: Pixabay

    The EU’s call to fight online scams involving fake coronavirus products was received positively by online sales and social media platforms across the world, according to Consumer Protection Commissioner Didier Reynders.

    Online platforms Allegro, Amazon, AliExpress, Bing, CDiscount, Ebay, Facebook, Google, Rakuten, Wish and Yahoo have all agreed to do their part, EU Consumer Affairs tweeted.

     

    The platforms will “proactively take down misleading ads and ‘miracle products’ with unsupported health claims. Automated and human monitoring of content are also reinforced. Some platforms have temporarily banned sales or advertising of specific products such as masks or sanitizers. Specific checks are implemented on price increases and promotions. Finally, operators conduct 24/7 monitoring activities or sweeps of content,” the Commission said.

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    Last week, the federal police warned against such scams, stating that some criminals take advantage of the fear surrounding coronavirus “to scam consumers online, for example by selling fake medicines, medical supplies and food supplements.” On Friday, it was reported that while certain forms of organised crime were down, cybercrime and other types of fraud are still being carried out.

    “I welcome platforms, social media, marketplaces and search engines’ prompt reaction to my call to build a strong alliance with EU consumer watchdogs. Only together can we effectively block the channels fraudsters use to exploit consumers’ fears caused by the coronavirus crisis,” Reynders commented. “I am pleased to see that strong measures were taken and expect they will be applied consistently through the crisis. I call on all operators to keep them in place until the crisis is over.”

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times