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Chapter 12. WHAT CAN I DO IF MY PRIVACY ... > Buying Items that Don't Exist and Si...

Buying Items that Don't Exist and Similar Mistakes

We all like bargains. We've heard that there are great bargains on the Internet. So, we go looking for those bargains. Sometimes we find them; other times we don't. When the product isn't delivered or doesn't match the specifications, and we can't get our money back, we've joined the victims of fraud.

Technology helps the defrauders as much as it helps legitimate businesses. It can make it easy for the fraudulent to separate us from our money. Fraudulent businesses can look like legitimate businesses quite easily. The National Fraud Information Center (NFIC), a project of the National Consumers League, reports that in the year 2000, 82% of the reported Internet fraud came from contacts initiated through Web sites. This means that people visited a Web site and were taken in by the information presented there. It also means that, according to these reported statistics, most of the fraud was not initiated by an invasion of privacy.


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