Unauthorised sellers via social media face Dh25,000 fine

Local websites selling fake products also warned

People selling products on social networks could be fined Dh25,000 and have their account shut in case they are not authorised dealers or their products are flawed, a UAE economy official was reported on Saturday as saying.

Stern measures will also be taken against local websites dealing in fake or flawed products in the UAE, said Mohammed Lootah, Deputy Executive Director for Consumer Protection and Trade Control at the Department of Economic Development. (DED).

Lootah, quoted by the Arabic language daily Al Bayan, said the UAE has no authority on foreign websites operating abroad, adding that consumers in the UAE should be careful when dealing with these sites.

He said people buying from local websites or social networks can report any problem to DED in case they find out that the purchased product is a fake or below standard.

“DED will take measures that will guarantee the rights of the consumers.

"These measures may involve suspending the dealers and their licence as well as shutting the website. Our advice to consumers is that they should check the website or read feedback about it before dealing with it,” he said.

“As for persons selling products on social networks, they must be authorised dealers.

"Those who sell fake products or violate intellectual property and other rules will be fined Dh25,000 and have their account shut.”

Lootah said DED has created a special unit to monitor Facebook, Twitter and other social networks and that many personal accounts inside and outside the UAE have been shut for committing offences.

“DED also has a secret team of buyers to deal with those sites. They just buy products from those sites to ensure they are not a fake and the account holders have a licence.”

Al Bayan reported Lootah was reacting to complaints by consumers that they have been victims of fraud by some websites. It said one consumer who ordered an iPhone 6 smartphone was delivered an iPhone 5, while another who bought a massage machine has not received the item three weeks after purchase.

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