Mexico Accuses Facebook of Not Doing Enough to Stop Fraud

Mexico Accuses Facebook of Not Doing Enough to Stop Fraud
Photo by Souvik Banerjee / Unsplash

Spanish version

The top Mexican consumer protection agency is accusing Facebook of not doing enough to stop fraud on its platform. The Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office (Profeco) says Facebook hasn’t done enough to stop fraudulent travel offers that abound on its site.

The agency also said it had asked the social networking giant to stop promoting fraudulent offers and to prevent users from sharing links to external websites offering such deals.

Digital commerce is growing rapidly in Mexico

It is estimated that e-commerce sales will be worth more than US$6.5 billion by 2023 globally, and within the Mexican market in particular, consumers are expected to increasingly shop online.

As a result, there has been an increase in complaints and reports of illegal practices by merchants.

To combat this problem, Profeco has asked Meta to require advertisers to comply with the minimum requirements established in the Federal Consumer Law in order to appear in Facebook’s Marketplace.

However, this has not happened, which means that many companies advertising on Meta’s platform are not following these rules and may be engaging in illegal practices.

And this is especially problematic because it puts consumers at risk when shopping on that platform. The Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor said it favors the growth of e-commerce, but if Meta does not support the Mexican consumer, then it is unlikely that the digital consumer can be given the same protection as the traditional consumer.

Misleading digital offers

It is necessary to remember that Profeco has no powers in criminal matters related to online fraud, since it can only execute preventive actions, so it is the digital consumer who must be careful when acquiring a service, especially if it is through the Facebook marketplace.

On the other hand, it is necessary to point out that there are some factors that make this type of fraud easier to commit than in physical commerce:

First, it is the anonymity of social networks that allows fraudsters to hide their identity and not be identified by the buyer or seller. In addition, many people do not use their real name when registering on social networks and create fake profiles with names similar to those used by people known for their trustworthiness.

In addition, there are no rules for sellers or buyers on social networks; this facilitates fraud because there are no rules or controls to ensure safety or honesty among users. As a result, many people use fake profiles on these sites and even sell products or services that do not exist.

How to identify a fraudulent online tourism offer

The first is to look for suspicious prices. When you see an agency offering very low prices, you should be suspicious. It is possible that the price is more attractive than other agencies in the same area, but it is also possible that this agency is unprofessional and has not made an effort to present its offer in a professional manner.

Another way to identify a fraudulent online tourist offer is to check whether the information provided by the agency is correct or not. If an agency does not provide data that would allow you to identify and locate the supposed provider, such as address, telephone number or e-mail address, it is likely that this type of business does not exist.

You can also check other websites advertising this or similar companies and see if they have any complaints or negative comments from users who have tried using their services; if they do not have any complaints on these websites, it is possible that there is something wrong with their services and, therefore, it would be wise not to trust them with your money because they could end up stealing from you instead of helping you get what you want from your trip.