Actual-name registration urged for online retailers


TAIPEI–Taiwan’s major consumer watchdog urged the government yesterday to require online sellers and shoppers to submit their real names as part of the effort to combat the growing number of e-shopping scams in the country.

Consumers’ Foundation board member Hsieh Tien-jen urged the Ministry of Economic Affairs to get involved and require real-name registration on all e-commerce sites, considering the market’s strong growth and the relatively limited legal protections in place.

Chen Chih-yi, publisher of the foundation’s Consumer Reports Magazine, said at a press conference that the country’s 2,245 online scam cases, including hacked accounts and online dating scams, accounted for 10.88 percent of overall fraud cases in Taiwan in 2012.

The growth of Taiwan’s online shopping market has made it a more inviting target for fraudsters, Chen said.

E-shopping revenues in the country totaled NT$562 billion (US$18.94 billion) in 2011 and NT$660.5 billion in 2012, and are expected to reach NT$740 billion in 2013, Chen said, citing data compiled by the Institute for Information Industry.