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Web Used to Monitor Online Schemes

March 24, 2000|Associated Press

U.S. government officials said they have joined with international forces to crack down on Internet fraud--and used the World Wide Web to do it. About 2,000 law enforcement agencies, including 34 state attorneys general, seven federal agencies and 49 state consumer protection agencies were involved in the GetRichQuick.con project sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission. More than 150 organizations from 28 countries also participated in the effort.

From Feb. 28 to March 10, staffers in federal agencies and foreign organizations surfed the Internet looking for sites promoting what appeared to be get-rich-quick schemes, focusing on those that made specific earnings claims. The people running the Web sites were contacted by e-mail, and any suspicious promotions found were added to a database administered by the FTC. Law enforcement members will continue to monitor the sites to see whether they've changed their claims in response to the e-mail messages, officials said. No one was arrested.

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