The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) has launched its updated website – www.icpen.org – to deliver better consumer protection worldwide.
ICPEN is a cooperative and collaborative forum of consumer protection authorities that encourages global cooperation aimed at combating fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair trading practices that affect consumers around the world. With members from over 60 countries, ICPEN’s global reach allows it to identify, target and respond to cross-border issues faced by consumers participating in today’s digital economy.
The new website provides consumers with essential information including how to avoid scams and shop safely online. There are also tips on where to look for help and how to lodge a complaint in cross-border disputes. For example, consumers who believe they have been a victim of deceptive practices on the Internet can register their complaint at www.econsumer.gov, ICPEN's global online complaint reporting mechanism which is available in eight languages.
For consumer protection authorities there is information on the activities of the Network and how to take part. This includes:
- 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.
Importantly, the website provides a secure members area for ICPEN members to share intelligence on emerging misleading, deceptive and fraudulent commercial practices.
As at 30 June 2017 ICPEN comprises: Angola, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigerian, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam, and Zambia, and member organisations of European Commission, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Ibero-American Forum of Consumer Government Agencies (FIAGC).
Econsumer.gov is an ICPEN initiative enabling consumer complaints to be recorded, shared and analysed between the 35 member countries participating. It is available in eight languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Spanish, and Turkish. Econsumer.gov allows consumers to file cross-border complaints and provides them with educational resources and information on how to resolve disputes informally. For more information visit www.icpen.org.