FTC: Web Fraud Rising

The Federal Trade Commission today told Congress that the boom in e-commerce has created a fertile ground for advertising and marketing scams. “Internet technology is the latest draw for opportunistic predators who specialize in fraud,” Eileen Harrington of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection told a House Committee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. “The rapid rise in the number of consumer complaints related to online fraud and deception bears this out.”

In 1997, the FTC says it received fewer than 1,000 Internet fraud complaints. In 2000, it received more than 25,000 such complaints, about one-quarter of all fraud complaints logged into the FTC’s complaint database.