According to the ACCC, in the next 24 hours, thousands of websites will be examined by consumer protection agencies worldwide with just one question in mind — is the message true or false?
Peter Kell, deputy chair at the ACCC said the regulatory body will be targeting unrealistic, exaggerated and false claims – such as representations about energy savings, 'too good to be true' performance and consumers' refund rights.
"This year's sweep is about getting on the front foot to identify potentially deceptive or fraudulent websites," he said.
The ACCC is the sweep coordinator for this international event held under the banner of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network.
"More than 20 agencies across the world will be scouring websites looking for online traders who make big upfront promises and fail to deliver," he said.
According to Kell, along with other Australian consumer protection agencies, the ACCC will scrutinise Australian based websites and flag suspicious traders for further investigation.
"We'll be paying close attention to websites offering body enhancement products, complementary medicines, work-from-home schemes, communication services and environmentally safe products,” he said.
"Any online trader sending out what appears to be false and misleading messages will be asked to verify and substantiate their claims.”
State and territory fair trading offices and representatives from the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy will also take part in the sweep.
The ACCC will coordinate the joint action from its sweep headquarters in Canberra and its regional offices will also participate in the Internet sweep activities.
ACCC puts Websites through truth test
By Staff Writers on Sep 22, 2008 3:59PM