|The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), law enforcement groups in eight U.S. states, and four counterpart groups in Canada, known collectively as International Netforce, are taking legal steps to halt fraud and other deception on the Internet. The FTC announced that the various agencies have already sent out over 500 warnings to perpetrators that not only outright fraud is illegal, but that deceptive mass electronic mailing (‘spam’) is illegal as well. 63 legal actions have been initiated against websites. Part of the investigative effort includes checking spamming sites to see if their ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘remove me’ options actually work, so that Internet users actually have the option of getting off spam lists. |
The converged international effort will work to close sites that investigators have reason to believe conduct illegal activities -- such as auctions that don’t deliver anything sold, bogus cures for cancer, and other schemes. Fraud involving online gambling will naturally fall under their remit.
Howard Beales III, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said: ‘Illegal Internet schemes and deceptive spam don't stop at state lines or international borders ...
The FTC and its law enforcement partners are sending a signal to scammers: 'We're out there surfing the Net, reading our spam and working together to stop Internet scams’.’
To file a complaint to the FTC, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer
topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). You can also use the online complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov.