FSA nets 28 UK Web scams in one day

A global investigation into illegal Web activity finds 63 sites in breach of law

A one day investigation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and other international watchdogs has identified 28 UK Web sites that are in breach of financial services rules.

The second annual Web surf organised by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) discovered a worldwide total of 63 financial sites that warranted further investigation. The one day investigation into Internet scams unearthed 28 sites in the UK and 35 Web sites overseas that appeared to offer unauthorised investment advice and investment deals, or advertised investment products, in breach of the law.

Forty-one regulatory bodies from 34 countries took part in the annual crackdown on unlawful activity on the Web. A team of over 20 FSA staff searched over 130 sites for unauthorised investment business, deposit taking and market abuse. in the month of April.

"The investigation identified various kinds of sites, including ones that offer securities promotions, or advertise parts of products that may not be legitimate, or deal in bonds without proper licences," said IOSCO secretary general Peter Clark.

The UK sites found to be breaching the law have either been investigated by the the FSA, or have been passed onto the relevant law enforcement agency. The FSA has also passed on information regarding illegal overseas sites to the appropriate overseas regulatory or enforcement agency.

"It was a coordinated effort -- it was up to individual regulators to conduct the surf day according to their own requirements, and follow up in keeping with their own regulations," said Clark.

See also: ZDNet UK's Net Crime News Section.

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