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Watch out for One-page Advertising Fraud

Source:Department of Consumer Protection

In recent years, "one-page advertising" fraudsters have spread across Facebook, portals or social media. What's more, some of them are so unscrupulous that they put the LOGO of a consumer protection group at the bottom of their webpages, misleading the consumers to believe that they are under the supervision of such consumer protection group.

The Executive Yuan’s Department of Consumer Protection (hereinafter referred to as the DCP) said that the Consumer Protection Association Taiwan (hereinafter referred to as the CPAT) is one of the only two excellent consumer protection groups in the country. The CPAT has solemnly stated that no endorsement has been made for any industry, in a hope to remind consumers not to fall into the trap of those fraudulent tactics of the unscrupulous traders.

One-page advertisements, which put all the product information on one page, including product introductions, pictures, images, subscriptions, and so on, conform to the current consumption trend for convenience and speed. However, according to the propaganda platform 165 of National Police Agency, MOI, which publishes "high-risk stores reported by the public" every week, there are a number of one-page advertising frauds, which have the following 6 characteristics:

  1. There is no company address, customer service phone (or no one answers the phone) on the webpage, leaving only the e-mail address or LINE for private transaction.
  2. The selling price is significantly lower than the market; "flash sale" or "countdown" are tactics often used to attract the public.
  3. Make such claims as free shipping, 7-day appreciation period, allowance for unpack inspections, guarantee for return of unsatisfactory goods, etc.
  4. All the advertisement-related messages are positive comments without any negative ones.
  5. One can only pay by cash on delivery or by credit card.
  6. The webpages are mostly mixed with simplified Chinse characters and look rough and ugly.

In addition, if the goods to be paid by cash on delivery do not match the online shopping products, they should be reported to the freight (home delivery) operators (such as the post office) as soon as possible, and you should also call the shipper whose name is printed on the bag to return the goods; if there is no shipper information on the bag, you can first tell the freight (home delivery) operator that you want to return the goods.

The DCP reminds consumers that online shopping is convenient and fast, but they should still pay attention to the above 6 characteristics, verify the identity of a webpage, do not trust the webpage advertising but carefully select the e-commerce platform with good reputation; in case of consumer disputes, one should appeal immediately, so that relevant operators can assist in processing the case in a timely manner.