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November 18, 2010

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Watchdog warns of bogus commission

A LOCAL consumers' rights watchdog has told individuals and corporations to be alert as it has found some people have been using their name to con money.

Several companies in Shanghai have received anonymous letters requiring them to pay tens of thousands of yuan in contributions for "activities" or "events" organized by the Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection, or the companies would be "exposed" to media. The details of the bogus events or activities are as yet unknown.

The letters have the seal of the commission, thus some companies believed that they were true.

"The swindlers asked for 20,000 yuan (US$2,860) to 100,000 yuan from each company," said Zhao Jiaoli, secretary general of the commission.

The commission said that even though some companies hadn't done anything that violated consumers' interests, they were still worried and thus had contributed to funds for the "activities."

Meanwhile, individual consumers also complained that people who claimed to be commission officials demanded large sums in service fees when they wished to file a complaint.

Officials reminded consumers that all of its services are absolutely free of charge and that the commission would never organize charged events for companies.


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