Partnering with the Federal Trade Commission, the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network ("ICPEN") recently unveiled significant enhancements to its online portal – www.icpen.org – designed to help members identify and respond to consumer challenges crossing international borders.
ICPEN is a network of consumer protection agencies from over 60 countries that strives to protect consumers from fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair commercial practices around the world. ICPEN and its members share information about cross-border issues and encourage global cooperation among law enforcement agencies. The United States has been a member of ICPEN since 1992.
ICPEN's updated website includes a mobile-friendly version and provides consumers with information regarding how to avoid scams and shop safely online. The site also contains details about how consumers can find help and file a complaint in cross-border disputes. Consumers who believe they have been a victim of an international scam can file a complaint at ICPEN's online complaint site – www.econsumer.gov – available in eight languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Spanish, and Turkish. The revised ICPEN website also provides new tools for members to securely share intelligence on emerging fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair commercial practices.
The relaunch of the ICPEN website marks the end of the presidency term of the German Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer Protection and the transition to the new presidency term of the Turkish Ministry of Customs, which began on July 1. "Germany is pleased to mark the end of its ICPEN Presidency year with the relaunch of the ICPEN website. The website provides very good resources for consumers and consumer authorities alike," said outgoing ICPEN President Dr. Ilona Ulich, Head of Unit "Enforcement of Consumer Law" at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission oversaw the ICPEN website update project. The Turkish Ministry of Customs will announce additional improvements to the website during its term.
The new website also includes information regarding ICPEN initiatives, including:
- International Internet Sweep Day – A coordinated crackdown on scams with enforcement authorities targeting misleading and fraudulent conduct on the internet and other forms of digital communication; and
- Fraud Prevention Month – A month-long education initiative that aims to inform consumers about fraud and raise awareness of scams through a series of events and activities.
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