Amazon, Google and Facebook must be forced to fight an “epidemic” of scams and fake reviews, warns Which?

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Tech giants must be forced to fight an “epidemic” of scams, dangerous products and fake reviews, according to Which ?.

Consumer champion says it’s time to stop asking Amazon, Google, Facebook and eBay to improve their game and change the law to protect buyers.

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The world’s biggest tech companies have the ability to protect people from harm to consumers, but they don’t take enough responsibilityCredit: Getty

In a new survey of 2,000 adults, more than two-thirds had little or no trust in these companies to protect them from crooks.

Like the sun, which one? has been following the issue for several years and feels it is part of a larger failure of the major online platforms to take enough responsibility.

Without control, the problems consumers face online are likely to grow.

Rocio Concha, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Which ?, said: “Millions of consumers are exposed to scams, unsafe products and fake reviews every day.

The world’s biggest tech companies have the ability to protect people from harm to consumers, but they’re not taking enough responsibility.

“We are launching our new #JustNotBuyingIt campaign because it’s time to stop simply asking these platforms to do what it takes to protect consumers.

“Instead, the government and regulators need to hold them accountable by putting in place the right regulations. ”

Amazon said, “Last year we invested over $ 700 million and employed over 10,000 people to protect customers from fraud and abuse.”

Facebook said it is “devoting significant resources to tackling the problem of industry-wide online scams,” while eBay said it has implemented filters that have blocked six million dangerous ads.

Google said: “We have now launched new restrictions requiring financial services advertisers to be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority.”

Here are three typical scams that consumers face online every day. . .

SCAM # 1

DAVID *, in his seventies, lost over £ 20,000 in a website clone scam last year.

After searching on Google for ‘the best interest rate for savings of £ 15,000’, he clicked on what he believed to be a legitimate website and filled in his personal information.

He was then contacted by a fraudster posing as a Standard Chartered bank employee who convinced him to deposit his savings.

David, who has yet to receive a refund, said: “I feel very upset. I am an honest person and expected other people to be the same. I don’t trust anyone now.

The money from the investment was to be used for a joint replacement operation – I will be in agony for months to come.

* Not his real name

SCAM # 2

FILMMAKER Carolyn was swindled out of £ 110 after buying a bed she saw advertised on Facebook.

Prior to her purchase, Carolyn looked at reviews from the company’s customers.

Carolyn was cheated of £ 110 after buying a bed she saw advertised on Facebook

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Carolyn was cheated of £ 110 after buying a bed she saw advertised on FacebookCredit: Refer to Source – Alamy

Encouraged by several positive reviews, she placed an order.

But things quickly took a turn for the worse. The company did not send any confirmation of its purchase and its messages went unanswered. Carolyn never received her bed.

She confided in Which? : “I checked the reviews of the company’s customers again and there are now dozens more who have been scammed with the same ad. I went to find it on Facebook to report it.

“I discovered that this was not an ordinary ad, but a message shared from a personal account. Facebook must stop people from posting information about dubious companies. “

SCAM # 3

Shortly after Alan bought an iPosible solar power bank from the Amazon Marketplace, it caught fire while it was being used in his home.

Alan, who managed to put it in his sink and cover it with water, said: “This product could have killed me.

Alan bought an iPosible solar power bank from Amazon Marketplace, it caught fire while in use at his home

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Alan bought an iPosible solar power bank from the Amazon Marketplace, it caught fire while it was being used at his home

“It is really worrying that these products are ending up in people’s homes and still being sold despite such a serious problem.

“It made me suspicious of buying from Amazon.”

Amazon initially asked him to send back the damaged battery for a refund of £ 24.95.

But after seeing Alan’s pictures of the damaged product, they agreed to provide him with a full refund without returning the item.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

IF you have been the victim of a bank scam, contact your bank immediately and inform the police via 111.

If you have been sold a DANGEROUS product, contact the seller and the platform where you purchased it.

If they don’t help, contact your local business standards.

Beware of FALSE REVIEWS, especially on internet-only sellers.

The best advice is to stick with reputable retailers, such as Currys and Argos, which will be easier to deal with.

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