The work of ICPEN also concentrates around specific joint projects, which aim to implement the Network’s objectives.
ICPEN International Internet Sweep
A yearly global Web-surfing exercise to search for sites that may potentially be deceiving and/or defrauding consumers. The Sweep's objective is to improve consumer confidence in e-commerce by demonstrating a global law enforcement presence online. This has developed to be an effective and pro-active enforcement too to target the growth in fraudulent and deceptive conduct emerging on the Internet, spam, mobile phones, and other forms of electronic communication. On Sweep Day consumer protection agencies, including non-ICPEN member agencies, across the world are dedicated to intensive searching on a theme which will change each year. The Sweep results in identifying suspicious sites for later enforcement or educative action by the consumer protection agencies.
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Best Practices Trainings
Two-day seminars on current topics relevant to government consumer agencies organized once a year back to back with a plenary conference (usually in autumn).
The www.econsumer.gov site
A joint effort to gather and share cross-border e-commerce complaints of consumer protection agencies from two dozen countries. The project has two components: a multilingual public website, where consumers can lodge cross-border complaints, and try to resolve their complaints through means other than formal legal action; as well as a password-protected website through which the incoming complaints are shared with the participating consumer protection law enforcers.
Fraud Prevention Month
The Fraud Prevention project is a series of education campaigns run every year by ICPEN countries under one theme but focusing on an issue relevant to each individual participating agency.
Through this initiative we educate consumers and businesses about scams and furnish them with appropriate information on how to protect themselves from falling prey to unfair businesses.
Each year ICPEN participants implement various Fraud Prevention Month activities.
What do we focus on in particular? We have addressed such topics as:
- deceptive and aggressive retail tactics used to lure consumers into an agreement,
- identity theft,
- misleading advertising,
- legal requirements concerning pricing information and labelling,
- online shopping,
- false lottery and business directories,
- health fraud.
Often our campaigns target particular audiences including the young, the elderly, small businesses and charities, and have a range of community, non-government, and private sector organizations as partners.
You can read more information about it in this brochure.