Consumer's Telegram March 2010Insert of n. 20 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)
The online Trap: The iPhone Trick
Our colleagues of the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Austria have recently reported in a press release that more and more consumer complained because they had become victims of internet frauds. Popular goods like iPhones, for example, are offered on the internet for half of the price - by companies as well as by private people. But be careful: Nothing in life is for free - this is also true for the internet. Special offers require special attention.
Consumers are mostly asked to pay by a cash transfer service like Western Union or Money Gram. A little bit later they get a request for payment of customs duties by a parcel service. This happened to an Austrian consumer who got suspicious because within the EU there should be no customs duties. Unfortunately, the consumer had already transferred 400 Euro.
An even worse case was reported to the ECC Italy- office of Bolzano: A consumer had found a cheap offer of the popular iPhone and paid at first 400 Euros (including hefty 50 Euros for the delivery from distant England) by Western Union. Then, he was offered 8 phones for an incredible cheap price; the suggestion was to sell them to friends. Our consumer was convinced and paid again, but he waited in vain for the delivery. For customs duties, VAT, shipping and so on he was asked more and more money. When finally it got too much and he became suspicious, he had already paid 4,500 Euros.Consumers should always be very, very careful when they are asked to transfer money by Western Union or Money Gram for a purchase on the internet or another contract. Those cash transfer services are not suitable for payments to unknown people and are often used for frauds.
BROCHURES OF THE ECC