New FTC Web site logs in fraud reports

New FTC Web site logs in fraud reports

Feeling swindled? Shoot a report straight to the Federal Trade Commission through its new Consumer Sentinel public Web site, at www.consumer.gov/sentinel.

The site drew 20,000 hits in its first week, said project manager Bob Kuykendall, a Postal Inspection Service officer working at FTC for the past year.

The File a Complaint button takes users to a Secure Sockets Layer-protected form. Using the form fields and pull-down menus, fraud victims can report scams to FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The site grew out of a database FTC started in 1997 to compile fraud reports from law enforcement agencies and organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.

Forty-six federal agencies are among the 250 contributors to the database. Government commissions in Canada and Australia also participate, and, Kuykendall said, more countries will join soon.

'P. Daukantas

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