FTC Releases Results of Project Mailbox IV

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The Federal Trade Commission Friday released the results of Project Mailbox IV, a joint effort of federal agencies and state attorneys general to stop mail fraud, unsolicited fax marketing and e-mail spam.

Project Mailbox IV resulted in law-enforcement action being taken in 300 cases between Oct. 1, 1999, and Sept. 30, 2000. Federal agencies handled approximately one-third of the cases.

Approximately 180 of the cases involved companies using sweepstakes or prize promotions. Millions of dollars were returned to consumers who were the victims of fraudulent offerings, the FTC said.

Travel and vacation scams represented the second-largest category of cases investigated as part of the project. Investigators brought approximately 50 law-enforcement actions against businesses in the vacation certificate and time-share industry.

Agencies that participated in Project Mailbox IV included the FTC, the Postal Inspection Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Association of Attorneys General.

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