Recognise consumer product fraud

You can affect general attitudes with your own example. With the help of the information on this website, companies and individuals can more easily recognise what the shadow economy is and identify economic crimes. This website contains tips and examples of how you can act to protect yourself and the society against the harms caused by the shadow economy and economic crime.

Typical irregularities relating to products sold to consumers, or trade in consumer products, include the misuse of country-of-origin labelling, fraud related to alcohol, tobacco and car imports and the so-called subscription traps associated with distance selling.

Private individuals

  • Slow down and think it over. Before you react, ask yourself the following questions: does the offer sound too good to be true? Is the message written appropriately with good grammar? Is the content of the message suspicious in any way?
  • Check and recheck. If a suspicious e-mail message includes a hyperlink, first check the destination address by hovering the mouse pointer over the link without clicking on it. If the URL that the link points to is not related to the apparent sender of the message, you are probably dealing with a fraudulent phishing e-mail.
  • Identify legitimate senders and sources. The browser traffic of online banking services is always encrypted. You can confirm that your browser is using an encrypted connection to the current site by looking for a padlock icon in the address bar and a URL with the https:// prefix. Always keep in mind that the authorities, banks and online retailers will never send you e-mail messages asking you to provide your password, account number, bank details or credit card information, or e-mail messages asking for money.

Businesses

  • Identify high-risk products. Typical irregularities relating to the consumer products trade include the misuse of country-of-origin labelling, fraud related to alcohol, tobacco and car imports as well as subscription traps associated with distance selling.
  • Verify the product’s origin. Falsifying the origin of foodstuffs is the most common form of food fraud in Finland.
  • Contact the authorities if you suspect there is a grey economy element involved in import or export activities.