Pryor, Ayotte introduce bill to combat online scams

“Today’s global economy mixed with the anonymity of the Internet provides a breeding ground for pyramid schemes, advance-fee loan scams, bogus foreign lotteries, spyware and sweepstakes schemes,” Pryor said. “This deception is bilking American consumers and businesses out of millions.”

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The bill, S. 3410, provides the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with enforcement tools in information sharing, investigative assistance, confidentiality, enhanced investigative and litigating and enforcement relationships. The FTC would have the power to coordinate investigations with foreign counterparts and get redress for victims of Internet fraud.

“With the growing problem of Internet crimes, it is critical for the FTC to have the necessary tools to protect American consumers and businesses from online predators abroad,” Ayotte said in a news release.

According to the FTC, the number of consumer complaints against foreign businesses exceeded 100,000 in 2011.