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Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Scots back web fraud calls
Buyers view screengrab
Buyersview has rated 2,000 UK online retailers
Calls for measures to crack down on internet fraudsters have been welcomed by an Edinburgh-based online consumer guide.

Web shopping portal Buyersview.co.uk supports demands at the Trading Standards Institute conference in Cardiff for changes to make the UK the safest place in the world for e-commerce.

However, directors at the Scottish dot com say that it is unfair to give the impression that online shopping is unsafe.

The company, which has rated more than 2,000 UK shopping sites, says that if existing rules were properly enforced, further legislation may not be required.

The Cardiff conference has heard details of a report which found that complaints from online shoppers harder to investigate than those on the high street.

Credit card graphic
It is wise to use a credit card
There have also been calls for tougher legislation from the government to stamp out bogus price promotions on the internet.

Nick Brown - business development director at Buyersview.co.uk - said it was unfair to paint all online retailers with the same brush.

He said: "Buyersview has checked 2,000 UK retailers to verify that they provide secure ordering and payment process.

"There are a large number of retailers out there who provide a good service and who have secure online shopping.

He went on: "Trading Standards could work alongside the government to enforce the Data Protection Act and the Distance Selling Directive to ensure current legislation is enforced.

"That could go a long way to cutting out some of the problems identified."

According to Buyersview, the key things to watch out for when shopping online include:

  • Check that it is a secure site - that the data your are sending will be encrypted.

  • Paying by credit card at UK-based sites ensures you get better legal protection.

  • Only buy from sites which provide full contact details - postal address, telephone number and email.

Mr Brown added: "You want to be able - if there is a problem - to go to Trading Standards and give some physical contact information for them to follow up.

"Avoid any site which only gives a PO box number or mobile phone and always keep records of your purchases."

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See also:

20 Jun 01 | Business
Net police fail online shoppers
20 Feb 01 | Business
Credit card fraud rises by 50%
12 Apr 01 | Business
Net fraud scam foiled
13 Mar 01 | Business
Dot.com calls in Fraud Squad
02 Feb 01 | Business
Online auctions: Beware
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