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Millions of Germans stepped in nepwebshops

MAINZ – Counterfeit websites are a big problem in Germany. More than four million Germans are ever the dupe to become nepwebwinkels. This is evident from an examination of a major consumer organisations. The study is Monday night brought out through the broadcaster ARD.

Nepshops are indistinguishable from the real thing. For example, they offer sportswear, household items or clothes on. But they are only made to people to lights. And the danger is that the people behind such sites are becoming increasingly professional. “It is difficult to nepshop to recognize it, because the quality in the years of extreme increases. Used to be you could identify typing errors, but that is not so. They are just as constructed as a normal shop,” says a superintendent of police at the ARD.

There would be at least 1 million counterfeit sites online, “but we assume that this is only the tip of the iceberg,” according to a consumer organisation.

The scammers use photos and names of real persons, that the shop supposedly operate, in order to create confidence. For the same reason they would logos of PayPal, Visa and Maestro to the site. Also a domain name that ends with .the, the country code for Germany, helps to distrust. The most nepshops are only a few weeks online. They disappear quickly and return a short time later under a different name. Often buyers can only prepay.

Also in the Netherlands nepwebshops for, but the Authority Consumer and Market do not know how big the problem exactly is. The watchdog is calling people and vendors not just to trust and to properly check.

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