Consumers' assoc. takes down over 2,700 fake online stores


Dutch consumers' association Consumentenbond took down over 2,700 fake online stores by getting in touch with their hosting providers late last year. This brings the total of fake online stores shut down to over 4,500 in 2018, the organization announced, RTL Nieuws reports.

The association calls the fake online stores a plague for Dutch consumers. Consumentenbond tracked them down through, among other things, language errors, strange web addresses and tips from observant users.

The fake shops are mainly active from China and often use free domain names. A large proportion were registered with the Dutch provider, which is known in the Netherlands for the brand Openprovider. 

Consumentenbond notified hosting providers of suspicious activity. The hosting provider in turn contacted their customer. If the customer did not respond, the website was taken offline. That happened over 4,500 times last year. Some 400 fake web shops are still online, as they are out of reach of the Dutch consumer organization, according to the broadcaster. 

Consumentenbond will continue its fight against fake online stores this year. Openprovider also promised to scan all incoming requests for suspicious features.