Co-funded by
the European Union
European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office
BEWARE OF THE TRAP!

Online-Trading - How to protect yourself from frauds

Around hundred consumers reported to the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy that during the last months they had lost all or part of their savings on online trading platforms. One should consider the appropriate lists provided by CONSOB to avoid falling into these traps. These lists show if the company offering its online trading services is authorised to administer savings in Italy. Furthermore, urgent advice is given not to make transfers and other no-cancellable payments. If you absolutely want to work with a certrain online trading platform, payments should be done by credit card that allows you to contest the payment and maybe also to get back the paid amounts of money. More information about this issue is given on the website of the European Consumer Centre (ECC).


PYRAMID SCHEMES

OneCoin: one person at the head of the pyramid scheme arrested

As reported by some online-papers recently in the United States one of the persons who are at the head of the pyramid scheme OneCoin has been arrested. Already in 2016 the Centro Tutela Consumatori (CTCU), host structure of the Bolzano office of ECC Italy, had reported to the Italian competiton and market authority (AGCM) OneCoin related companies offering a pyramid selling scheme that had promoted an alleged new cryptocurrency. Now the advisors of the ECC are aware of the fact that this arrest will hardly help consumers who invested money to get back their investments. It is to be hoped however that the report will be a warning for consumers to be particularly careful with investment forms especially those focussing on the acquisition of new members and not on the sales of products (https://bit.ly/2FhrgVv).


HOLIDAY AND TRAVEL

The trick with lottery scratch tickets

The network of the European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net) warned of a rip-off that had affected holidaymakers on the Canary Islands. Consumers reported that on the streets they were given a lottery scratch ticket that turned out to be a win. The consumers were taken by taxi to a luxury resort to collect the promised prize and there they had to participate in a selling event that lasted for hours. Consumers reported that they were urged to buy holiday vouchers and to make an advance payment for them. Once they got home, the consumers realised that they were neither able to book the holiday stay factually nor did they get back their advance: the accommodation was either not available for the chosen period or one could book the accommodation only when signing up for joining a selling event again or so on. Our advice to all holidaymakers: Do not accept a scratch ticket from strangers! More information is provided on the site of the ECC Germany.


CASE OF THE MONTH

A Belgian consumer bought a bag from a renowned fashion company in a shop during her holiday in Italy. Unfortunately, after only four months the carry strap broke and the consumer reported the defect directly to the online shop of the producer, because the shop where she had actually bought the bag could only be contacted via phone. She was immediately offered an online redeemable voucher at the value of the cost of the bag. However, the consumer rejected this offer because she had bought the bag in the sales and was worried about not finding a similar bag at that price. On behalf of the consumer the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy phoned the shop and they first confirmed that no refund would be granted at all. Subsequently, the shop gave them an e-mail address.: The ECC writes to the e-mail address explaining the legal situation and pointing out that the legislation on consumer guarantees in certain circumstances also provides for the obligation of a refund. Their subsequent response was the following: apology for giving wrong information and they are certainly prepared to refund the full price.