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Seven out of 10 people have potentially been scammed online by misleading practices such as hidden charges, subscription traps and fake reviews, a survey reveals.
A Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) study found that 71% of shoppers had come across tactics designed to manipulate them.
These ‘sneaky’ sales tactics include subscription traps, which mislead a customer into signing up to and paying for an unwanted service that can then be difficult to cancel, and surprise compulsory fees, charges or taxes being added during an online purchase.
According to the UK-wide survey, many respondents reported that they had wasted money on a disappointing product or experience, spent cash they couldn’t afford to or wasted time trying to undo the harm caused.
The CMA has now launched a campaign to help shoppers spot and avoid misleading online practices after becoming “increasingly concerned” about “sneaky” sales tactics.
The campaign also has the support of Citizens Advice, to whom consumers can report problems with misleading practices that they have encountered online.
For more information and for ways to spot misleading online sales tactics, head over to the Online Rip-Off Tip-Off Campaign website.
If you have been the victim of a scam, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or you can call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133 if you require advice on an issue you are having with a trader or wish to report a trader.