What is it all about?
So, what exactly is the INFORM Consumers Act and how might it help businesses contend with organized retail crime (ORC)?
The Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act, or INFORM Consumers Act imposes hefty fines on online marketplaces that operate outside of the law. This is especially consequential, as the proliferation of online marketplaces in recent years has created a haven for thieves to anonymously sell stolen merchandise.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the INFORM Act will prompt the following changes:
1. Under the new law, online marketplaces must collect, verify, and disclose certain information about high-volume sellers.
2. There will be more transparency in online transactions, which will deter criminals from acquiring stolen, counterfeit, and unsafe items for sale in online marketplaces.
3. Online marketplaces will be required to collect bank account information, contact information, and a Tax ID number from high-volume third party sellers.
4. Online marketplaces will be required to verify the information they receive from high-volume third party sellers.
5. Specific information, i.e., bank account information, tax ID information, contact information, etc. will be required for third party sellers that meet a certain level of sales on a platform.
6. Online marketplaces will be required to suspend high-volume third party sellers that do not comply with the new law.
7. Online marketplaces will be required to provide a clear way for consumers to report suspicious conduct under the new law as well.
Furthermore, high-volume third party sellers who choose to violate the law could incur civil penalties of $50,120 per violation. Add to this, the fact that States Attorneys General and other officials authorized by the state can file action in federal court to enjoin further law violation, seek civil penalties, obtain damages, restitution, or other compensation for a state’s residents, and you have a piece of legislation with some teeth.
You can learn more here:
The INFORM ACT