Amazon launches #FightTheFraud initiative

To dial-up awareness around online scams, Amazon India today announced a one-of-its-kind consumer awareness initiative ‘#FightTheFraud’, in collaboration with the CyberPeace Foundation and Rashtriya Raksha University, an Institute of National Importance under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India as a knowledge partner. The initiative intends to develop a collective response against the growing cybercrime and online scams in India through a range of activities such as webinars, social media awareness campaigns, capacity-building workshops, and others. All relevant stakeholders including consumers, small businesses, industry associations, civil society organizations, and government bodies are expected to participate in these activities.

Combating online fraud and scams has been a top priority of Amazon; it has implemented industry-leading processes to create a secure and safe online marketplace for all relevant stakeholders. These processes include stringent seller verification, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools, to help identify and address potential scams and other fraud prevention measures based on a set of weighted performance criteria determined from feedback reviews and other parameters.

The #FightTheFraud initiative will supplement the measures taken by e-commerce entities, civil societies and government agencies. Lt Gen (Dr.) Rajesh Pant (Retd), PVSM, AVSM, VSM, National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) at the Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India launched the event in the presence of Col Nidhish Bhatnagar, Rashtriya Raksha University, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, Major Vineet Kumar, Founder and Global President, The CyberPeace Foundation and Chetan Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Public Policy, Amazon India.

Speaking on the power and impact of a collaborative approach to fighting issues of online scams, Sumit Sahay, Director, Seller Partner Services, Amazon India, said, “There is growing uncertainty around cybercrime, and it remains a significant issue plaguing oblivious consumers across industries. We believe that through efficacious collaboration between the stakeholders, which includes industry leaders, policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and consumers, will we be able to resolve this complex issue and derive key learnings. #FightTheFraud initiative is a valuable first step toward bringing together the stakeholders and will serve as a vantage point for collective action.”

Lt General (Dr.) Rajesh Pant (Retd.), National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC), Government of India said, “The World Economic Forum (WEF) has termed cybercrime as the biggest man-made risk to the economic progress of nations and it is said that in a few years of time the total losses, globally are going to touch $10 trillion dollars. Per a report titled Cyber Prabhaav published by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the first quarter of 2022 saw a rise of 31% in reported complaints, on the government portal, as compared to the last quarter of 2021.” Lt General (Dr.) Pant added, “#FightTheFraud initiative is both timely and important given the rising incidence of online scams over the last few years.”

Major Vineet Kumar, Founder and Global President, CyberPeace Foundation said, “I feel this is a very good time to launch the campaign and a very relevant time because post pandemic, post covid, we have seen a surge in the number of cyber frauds and cybercrimes happening that are taking place with people, the netizens all across. It’s not justcities, it’s also going to the villages and smaller towns. We all need to come together and create a safe space online for sellers, consumers and brands.”

Individual addresses from dignitaries were followed by a panel discussion on the theme of “Enhancing Customer Trust through Collaborations”. The discussion highlighted risks faced by consumers, small businesses and brands from online scams and the range of measures adopted by stakeholders to mitigate these risks.