The Sisyphean task of rooting out e-commerce fraud

11:03 | 26/06/2019 Trade

(VEN) - In a crackdown on fake goods flooding e-commerce websites, fines imposed on violators doubled to VND7 billion in 2018 from VND3.5 billion in 2015.

the sisyphean task of rooting out e commerce fraud

Dang Hoang Hai, director of the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that in recent years, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has worked with relevant units to handle violations related to fake goods and intellectual property rights.

In an example of one such crackdown project, the Ministry of Industry and Trade cooperated with the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Cyber Security and High-tech Crime Prevention and the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department to check five stores related to menshop79.com and menshopfashion.com websites. The April 18 operation netted authorities nearly 2,000 products with counterfeit brand labels, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermers, Versace and Burberry.

According to data compiled by the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency, by the end of 2018, as many as 35,943 fake products were removed from e-commerce floors, and 3,126 accounts were blocked. In the first four months of 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade requested e-commerce floors to review and remove some 3,750 fraudulent products of nearly 600 booths and websites.

Hai said violators are using increasingly sophisticated and cunning methods to cheat customers and evade authorities. Many do not have warehouses or stores, and only accept online orders. In addition, goods are distributed to many locations and sold through intermediaries, while delivery is implemented on a small scale. In addition, websites are easily created and quickly closed, making them hard to locate and shut them down.

To protect consumers, greater coordination is required between units of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and state management agencies in the fight against fake goods and violations of intellectual property rights. In addition, the role and responsibility of e-commerce website owners must be enhanced and commitments must be obtained to sell goods with assured quality and clear origin.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will regularly review e-commerce websites to ensure compliance and remove fraudulent products on e-commerce floors.

Nguyen Huu Tuan, head of the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency’s e-commerce management division, suggested completing legal documents and regulations, reviewing and classifying e-commerce websites to manage the market better, strengthening inspection and handling of violations, and promoting dissemination of legal policies.

The Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency plans to work closely with customs, market surveillance, and

police units to root out fake goods on e-commerce websites.

Anh Viet