Online shopping fraud is a serious problem in many countries. The internet has become an arena of opportunities for sellers, buyers and even scammers. As digital trading grows, the types online scamming schemes also advance, becoming more sophisticated and even more difficult to detect.
To combat this problem countries from around the world have set up various agencies and departments to monitor and regulate online trading activities, giving sellers and consumers the chance to report a bad experience. Reporting online shopping fraud is crucial, since government agencies use the reports to develop online trading rules and regulations that can prevent the same incident from happening in the future.
Below is a list of government agencies and departments that can help you in case of an online shopping fraud.
- Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission or FTC was established by the US government. The main function of the agency is to protect consumers and to eliminate monopolies by stopping any form of anti competition. The agency has a Complaint Assistant, where consumers can provide information about an online scam they have experienced. This data will be used in mapping possible fraudulent activity patterns, which will come in handy once an investigation is underway.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is a top US agency that is in charge of law enforcement and security. The agency has established IC3 also known as Internet Crime Complaint Center to help address issues pertaining to cyber crime cases, which include online shopping fraud. The IC3 offers an online platform that makes it easier for consumers to file their complaints. The agency a acts on the complaint by filing it with their allied agencies, who are responsible for handling the online shopping fraud complaint.
- Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization. Its main objective is to help businesses improve their consumer trust rating. The organization accepts complaints related to online shopping fraud. Once you file a report,the organization directly contacts the business and serves as the mediator between you and the company. Complaints are usually sorted out within 30 days.
These three agencies are just a few of the departments that you can go to in case of online shopping fraud. Of course, you may also have the option to file the complaint through the local authorities who can handle the investigation for you. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that you will recover your losses, and even if you do, it usually takes time. The best way to deal with shopping fraud is to avoid becoming a victim. This way you won’t have to go through the hardships of filing a complaint and incurring possible losses. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.
Taking time to learn about the online shopping industry,before you decide to splurge, is your due diligence, as a consumer. Hopefully you won’t need anyremedies, including consumer protection agencies. Online shopping fraud can be prevented by learning the necessary information that keeps you safe.