Skin-care scammers fined $40,000 for online bait advertising

A skin care product supplier was fined HK$40,000 yesterday at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts after being convicted of online bait advertising, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Hong Kong Customs had earlier received information alleging the unnamed skin-care product supplier launched an advertisement via the internet and leaflet distribution that a skin care product will be offered at a discounted price on a designated date. However, when a customer visited the store on the same day, she was told the product had already been sold out.

Investigations revealed that the store had offered just one set of the skin care product for sale on that day.

Customs said the fine should serve as a reminder to traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and consumers to procure products at reputable shops.

Under the TDO, any trader who engages in online bait advertising by claiming to supply products at a specified price but failing to offer those products for supply at that price for a reasonable period and in reasonable quantities, commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

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