Fraud Prevention Month

"Watchlist Internet" - a tool against fraud in online shopping

Country Austria
Authority/organisation Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection
Campaign theme "Watchlist Internet" - a tool against fraud in online shopping
Period March/April 2014

Description of campaign:

In order to respond to the rapidly increasing popularity of online shopping, the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (BMASK) has devoted its efforts during the ICPEN Fraud Prevention Month 2014 to the support of a project that aims to raise consumers’ awareness towards online fraud and fraud-like traps: The “Watchlist Internet” (www.watchlist-internet.at) of the Austrian Internet Ombudsmann offers independent and cost-free information on recent cases of internet-fraud, provides advice for effective prevention policies and shows how typical fraud-methods are working. Moreover, victims of online fraud are provided with initial help and advice for possible further legal steps.

The Austrian Internet Ombudsmann is an independent organization for information, mediation and alternative dispute resolution for consumers and companies. In 2013, the Internet Ombudsmann has dealt with more than 5.000 consumer complaints, almost half of them about online fraud and fraud-like traps. These statistics have inspired the project “Watchlist Internet”.

In a joint press conference which was attended by several media representatives, the Internet Ombudsmann and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection informed about recent risks and problems of online shopping and presented the “Watchlist Internet”. Moreover, the Ministry informed about the project on its consumer protection website www.konsumentenfragen.at.

We are of the opinion that the “Watchlist Internet” is a further step in the fight against online fraud and that it can contribute to the strengthening of online competences and online trust.