Victims of fraudulent e-commerce businesses have been asked by the Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) to lodge a complaint for legal action.

CCF deputy director-general Dim Theng told The Post on August 16 that e-commerce in Cambodia has increased in popularity, but at the same time there has been an increase in cases of online fraud.

Theng added that people who placed orders online either domestically or internationally were often followed up by scam phone calls, emails or false advertising.

The problem has recently developed in Cambodia and there is not a proper mechanism in place to deal with the issue. People who were cheated often suffered huge losses and had nowhere to file a complaint, he said.

“There is not yet an established place for people with complaints to go to. We have not yet set up such a mechanism, but the anti-cybercrime department of the Ministry of Interior is addressing the issue,” he said.

Theng urged people who have been scammed to lodge a complaint with the CCF via social media or contact the organisation directly. The CCF will assist in addressing the problem according to the law on consumer protection.

IT expert Keo Voleak believes that e-co mmerce scams in Cambodia are not as prevalent as in other countries. However, there is a risk when consumers see scam advertising and decide to order products. When the goods are received, the products are not as advertised and of poor quality.

“In other words, some products advertised on social media, such as lotions, and health and nutritional products, do not have a clear source. When buyers use them, they can even affect their health,” he said.

“In addition, there are also fraudulent cases where sellers tell buyers to provide phone numbers, addresses and transfer money. But the goods are not delivered to the buyer.”

He said buyers did not complain because they did not know where to file a complaint or which institution to contact.

Voleak said the CCF’s announcement about receiving complaints and consultation on the problem is a good move to solve e-commerce frauds.

He requested that the CCF disseminate the information so people can protect themselves from frauds and getting cheated. The CCF should also announce the penalties for e-commerce frauds to deter scams.