International Regulators Surf for Cons Artists

More than 3200 Australian internet sites have been scrutinised over three days during the International Internet Sweep, part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's crackdown on internet scams that are 'Too Good to be True'

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission led taskforce of consumer protection authorities in 24 different countries in an attempt to crack down on Internet scams. The 'International Internet Sweep' was carried out over three days and scoured more than 3200 websites in an attempt to remove scams that promise returns that are 'too good to be true'.

Too many Australians are falling afoul of these types of scams. The ongoing investigation is currently taking further action against sites that promise incredible health benefits, pyramid selling schemes and schemes that promote working from home for thousands of dollars a week.

The ACC put out the following recommendations
- Avoid promises of instant wealth, 'free' gifts, incredible discounts and bargains;
- Read all the terms and conditions and fine print;
- Be very wary of testimonials claiming astounding results;
- Ask around, get professional advice; and
- Research the business: do an Internet search on the name of the product/company; verify any contact and company details.

The fundamentally interesting thing about this crackdown is that it is happening with an international coalition. Traditionally, the Internet has been a place where unsavoury characters could simply move around and avoid action of enforcers of national laws; this action is impressive because it has established a co-operative legal framework to give the sweep some teeth.

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