European Law Monitor

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#SellSafe awareness campaign launches on 3 November as part of the 2021 eCommerce Action

Online shoppers need to be more vigilant than ever as organised crime groups continuously adapt their online fraud methods to exploit both citizens and e-commerce companies. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses have had to go online to continue their activities. With citizens now using online services several times a week and increasingly doing their shopping online, there is a much greater opportunity for attack by cybercriminals. 

Even when online purchasing has been made secure by implementing new technologies, such as Secure Customer Authentication or Two-Factor Authentication, cybercriminals still find ways to steal the hard-earned cash of online shoppers.

#Sellsafe campaign

Europol, along with the Merchant Risk Council and participating countries, is launching the #SellSafe campaign today after the success of the campaign last year to highlight the top tactics for fighting online fraud. The aim of the campaign is to make e-commerce more secure by promoting safe online purchasing methods and by helping new merchants to open their first online shop without the risk of cyberattacks. 

This takes place after law enforcement authorities from participating countries, supported by Europol and the Merchant Risk Council, joined forces in a coordinated action against online fraud from 1-31 October as part of the 2021 eCommerce Action. As a result of this, 46 suspects have been arrested linked to fraudulent transactions. The modus operandi involved using certain mobile apps associated with banks in order to make transfers and purchases illegally. 

The participating countries include Albania, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Georgia, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. 

Participating countries will promote the campaign through their social media channels using the #SellSafe hashtag to help consumers understand the risks of e-commerce fraud.

To protect consumers, Europol has provided a number of helpful tips to stay one step ahead of the scammers and to make sure that you don’t lose money.


  • Ensure all employees are aware of the fraud issues affecting online stores 
  • Stay up to date on the types of payment fraud affecting businesses and have the tools in place to prevent them. Your national payments organisation will have details on payment fraud types
  • Get to know your customers in order to be able to verify their payments


  • Never send your card number, PIN or any other card information to anyone by e-mail
  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know
  • Always save all documents related to your online purchases
  • If you are not buying anything, don’t submit your card details

Find more tips on how to protect yourself and your business from e-fraudsters here

More general advice on how to shop safely online is available here.

Copyright European Union