Police report an increase in the number of rogue online stores and a decrease in internet fraud

The police have announced that more action was needed against rogue online stores in the past year than in the previous year. According to the police, the number of reports of internet fraud is decreasing.

The police write that in 2017, with regard to online stores, ‘an intervention was carried out in 438 cases’, compared to 35 times in the previous year. With an intervention, the police mean, for example, blocking payments or taking an online store offline. The police mention various types of rogue online stores, such as variants in which domain names that have become available on a large scale are bought up in order to put copies of existing websites online. Branded products are then sold for very low prices. These are often fake products. In addition, orders are often not delivered and criminals are looking for credit card information through the shops, according to the police.

On the other hand, the police noted a decrease in the number of reports of internet scams. In 2017 there were about 38,000, while in 2016 about 46,000 declarations were received. The average damage per declaration was almost 200 euros in the past year. The police argue that the willingness to report has not decreased and that it has been around 50 percent for years. The police believe that the cause of the decrease is more in preventive measures, information and publicity, so that people are more aware of risks.

In 2017, a further 5,400 declarations were withdrawn, for example because ordered products were still delivered. The Landelijk Meldpunt Internet Fraud, to which the reports are forwarded, conducted a total of 416 investigations relating to 5426 reports.