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The OFT chop of death for scamsters

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Eight UK websites have been forced to shut down following an investigation into low-life scam operations that make claims that prove to be "too good to be true".

A further 27 UK sites have been ordered to change the content on their sites while 40 are still under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The clampdown follows an international sweep by 31 countries of hundreds of sites suspected of ripping off punters.

Among the trawl were sites targeting children with XXX images for mobile phones plus expensive ring tones and games. Other scams included "work at home and earn a fortune schemes", "get-rich-quick" schemes and lottery scams.

In all, 320 sites have been closed or amended following the effort by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) while a further 440 letters warning traders to play fair have also been issued. More than 300 sites around the world are still under investigation.

Said Christine Wade, an OFT bigwig and president of ICPEN: "We can see from the sweep results that working with consumer enforcement agencies in other countries has delivered real tangible results in tackling cross border scams. With this ICPEN conference we aim to build on these results towards delivering seamless global enforcement." ®

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