RealTime IT News

ACCC Slams Scams Online

SYDNEY -- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched a new online presence to help manage illegal sales practices over the Internet, as it encourages consumers to exercise their offline rights in the digital world.

The new site, called Slam-A-Cyberscam, is an automated service "with the capacity to take thousands of complaints at a time about illegal online selling practices," said ACCC chairman Professor Allan Fels.

Slam-A-Cyberscam, which Fels said will "take details of complaints including allegations of illegal conduct," has been developed to give the ACCC a tool to better arm it in its quest to identify emerging problems in e-commerce and deal with them more swiftly. Fels said that information received through the site "will be reviewed by the ACCC and, where necessary, acted upon."

The site accepts anonymous information, but so that it has maximum information to use in its investigations, it is encouraging consumers to provide all of their details as they defend their online rights. "Businesses must remember that consumers have the same rights online as they do offline," said Fels. "These rights cannot be denied or over-ridden."

Fels said that the new site was an expansion of the ACCC's work to educate and protect consumers and businesses as e-commerce becomes more prevalent. It follows other efforts the ACCC has already made to help develop operating protocols for e-commerce, that include four international Internet sweeps to "detect and remove site which breach consumer protection or fair trading laws," said Fels.