FTC, State Securities Regulators Target Business Opportunity Fraud on the Internet

Officials Set to Announce Results of Latest "Surf Day" in Live Online Chat

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Media Advisory


In an online, real-time business forum, the Federal Trade Commission and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) will announce the results of a surveillance campaign targeting phony business opportunity schemes advertised on the Internet. The announcement will be made at a business lunch hosted by The Business Strategies Forum on America Online. It will be held on Thursday, April 24, 1997, from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. (Eastern). The keyword to reach the conference is Strategies.

The campaign began with "Business Opportunity Surf Day" on which numerous law enforcement officials at the state, federal and also international levels surfed the Internet for companies using the World Wide Web to promote business opportunities using false or unsubstantiated earnings claims. At the forum, the FTC and NASAA will announce how many sites were identified and sent warning notices, as well as the results of follow-up visits to the sites. Questions from reporters and other participants in the forum will be welcome.

Reporters also can view the online chat, projected onto a large screen in room 432 at the FTC headquarters building. The FTC is located at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., in Washington, D.C. The room will open for reporters at 12:45 p.m.

The Business Strategies Forum participants will include:

Dale E. Cantone

Assistant Attorney General of Maryland; Chief of the Maryland Franchise and Business Opportunity Unit; and Chair of the NASAA Franchise and Business Opportunities Committee  

Eileen Harrington

Associate Director for Marketing Practices, FTC

A library of materials, including a list of FTC cases against deceptive business opportunity schemes and a variety of consumer education brochures and alerts, will be available beginning Wednesday, April 23, at the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov and also on America Online in the Buyer Beware Folder in the Business Strategies forum. NASAA’s website, at www.nasaa.org also provides a wide range of investor education materials.

Contact Information

Media Contact:

Bonnie Jansen
FTC Office of Public Affairs

Scott Peterson
NASAA Public Affairs