Dutch authorities intensifying approach against fraudulent web shops

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The Dutch judiciary is implementing an intensified approach against online stores suspected of committing fraud against their customers. If customers file three reports against an online store, payment services will be instructed to block payments to the affected web shop, in order to prevent more customers falling victim, NOS reports.

This new approach is a joint effort between the Public Prosecutor, the National Hotline for Internet Scams and 12 payment services. The intention is that payment services will act themselves and block suspected online stores' accounts once they have permission from the police. The expectation is that more payment services will join the cooperation in the coming period.

A spokesperson for Industry association Thuiswinkel.org told newspaper AD that they're happy with this intensified approach. "Previously it could happen that a report was filed in Limburg, one in Groningen and one in Zeeland, but no one made a connection between those three", a spokesperson said to the newspaper. She added that reports must be well examined before payment services are blocked, to prevent individuals quarreling with an online store from trying to damage the business in that way.

According to Gijs van der Linden of the National Hotline for Internet Scams, it is therefore very important that the police first investigate whether reports are actually about possible fraud.