Internet scams, including bogus auctions and deceptive Web and computer services, joined identity theft among the top consumer fraud complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2001, the U.S. agency said Wednesday.
ID theft accounted for the bulk of complaints, representing 42 percent of the total 204,000 reports entered into the FTC's Consumer Sentinel database in 2001. Internet auctions and services and computer complaints, at 10 percent and 7 percent of fraud reports, respectively, were the second and third most frequent sources of complaints, the FTC said.
FTC associate director for planning and information Hugh Stevenson told NewsFactor that a good portion of ID theft and other complaints, such as foreign money offers, are tied to the Internet, referring to the intermingling of the Web with scams by phone or mail.
"Defining exactly what is Internet-related is tricky," Stevenson said. "A substantial chunk of this stuff is Internet-related, though."