Federal Agencies, Companies Start Internet Fraud Prevention Effort

An Internet fraud prevention campaign called the “LooksTooGoodToBeTrue” initiative undertaken by federal law enforcement agencies and major corporations was announced yesterday.

The Merchant Risk Council and corporations Monster Worldwide Inc., parent company of global online career and recruitment resource Monster, and Target Corp. joined the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center's Internet Crime Complaint Center in this education and awareness campaign.

“The most effective way to combat the increasing prevalence of Internet fraud is having federal agencies and corporations work together to arm consumers with the information and resources they need to protect themselves,” said Andrew McKelvey, chairman/CEO, Monster Worldwide.

The cornerstone of this campaign is www.LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com. Developed by the group, the site offers consumers in-depth information on the latest Internet scams including auction fraud, identity fraud, reshipping scams and foreign lotteries. It also alerts the U.S. public to scams related to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

In addition, the site offers prevention tips to Web users and an online risk assessment test to determine how vulnerable users are to scams. Consumers can file complaints via the site and can order “Web of Deceit,” a free DVD on Internet fraud prevention produced by the USPIS.

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, 207,449 complaints were reported in 2004, a 66.6 percent increase over 2003; total monetary loss from all referred cases of fraud was $68.14 million, with a median dollar loss of $219.56 per complaint.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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