Don't Get Scammed

Who to contact if you've been Web-conned
This story first appeared in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

If you think you can't get fleeced by Web con artists, think again: One million small businesses have been, according to Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO).

How does it work? Crooked Web site operators "cram" phony charges onto businesses phone bills or credit cards, says Bond, whose Senate Committee on Small Business has held hearings on the scam. Here's how to spot it: Usually, there's a "free, no strings attached" trial offer of Web site hosting, development or marketing services. Then monthly charges keep showing up.

If you think you've been ripped off, log on to the FTC's Web site ( click on "Complaint Form," or send an e-mail to

To contact Robert McGarvey e-mail him at

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