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Federal Trade Commission Releases Top Ten List of 'Dot-Con' Scams

Posted October 31, 2000

— Cyberspace now has a "Ten Most Wanted List." Nine countries, including the U.S., are taking action against Internet scams.

Consumer protection agencies of the Federal government, 23 states including North Carolina, and eight other countries released the list of the top "dot con" scams. The scams were pulled from more than 285,000 consumer complaints to theFederal Trade Commission.

"The Internet has changed the way consumers gather information, shop and do business," says Jodie Bernstein of the Consumer Protection Division of the Federal Trade Commission. "It's also changed the way law enforcers and consumer protection agencies do business." Top Ten Internet Scams1. Internet auctions:People not paying for what they get or not getting what they pay for. 2. Internet access:Consumers are being billed for Internet access they have not requested or...

"Consumers continuing to be billed after the expiration of a free trial period where the consumer has said that they don't want to continue with the service," says Eileen Harrington of the Federal Trade Commission. 3. Credit card fraud:A scammer runs up charges on a card number provided as proof of age. 4. International modem dialing:It switches to expensive long distance calls. 5. Web cramming:"Free" web pages are charged for on a phone bill. 6. Multi-level marketingand pyramid schemes offered constantly by e-mail. 7.Travel and vacation fraud:Charges are often hidden. 8. Worthless business opportunities 9. Stock trading services:They may not deliver. 10. Miracle health care productsthat are actually snake oil.

All the scams have one thing in common: bilking money from Internet users. The best advice is to never pay with cash, check or money order.

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