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COMPUTING

From...
Computerworld

FTC issues warning on fraudulent cyberauctions

February 16, 2000
Web posted at: 8:20 a.m. EST (1320 GMT)

by Patrick Thibodeau

(IDG) -- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission Monday warned that consumer confidence in e-commerce may be threatened by an escalating number of organizations that are conducting fraudulent auctions (see "Law Enforcers Target Internet Auction Fraud" in related sites below).

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FTC officials said it received 10,700 complaints last year about Internet auctions, up from 107 complaints in 1997. Many of the complaints were from people who didn't receive what had been promised, or received something of lesser value, an FTC official said.

"The number of complaints that the FTC has received from Internet auctions is absolutely exploding," said Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

"We don't intend to let a handful of rogue operators destroy consumer confidence in Internet commerce or, particularly, in the auctions," said Bernstein.

To combat the problem, the FTC said it intends to increase its training of law enforcement officers in finding and identifying fraud artists. The agency also plans to work with Internet auction sites to encourage adoption of consumer protection measures and to better educate consumers.

If the volume of complaints persists, it could lead to some kind of licensing or regulatory requirement, said Joe Curran, attorney general of Maryland, who represented the National Association of Attorneys General at today's announcement.

Consumers were urged to take steps to protect themselves by using credit cards to make purchases or escrow services, which act as middlemen in a transaction.


RELATED STORIES:
Coming soon: Net auctions via mobile phones
October 11, 1999
eBay spawns a marketplace for the bizarre
September 20, 1999
Auction sites try to tame the Wild Wild Web
September 13, 1999
Online auctions hit the public sector
March 9, 1999
Home run history going on sale online
January 8, 1999
Confessions of an online auction addict
May 19, 1998

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Online auctions: Buyer beware
(PC World Online)
How to win at Web auctions
(PC World Online)
Send money, get nothing in return
(PC World Online)
The world wide garage sale
(PC World Online)
Don't get taken at Web auctions
(PC World Online)
CPU scams
(PC World Online)
Is your software stolen?
(PC World Online)
EBay bot battle boils over to Congress
(Network World Fusion)
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RELATED SITES:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Law Enforcers Target Internet Auction Fraud
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
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