The FBI has charged 88 people with Internet fraud after a nation-wide swoop.
Those charged allegedly defrauded a total of 56,000 surfers out of more than $117 million.
Schemes targetted were pyramid scams, online auction fraud, systematic non-delivery of goods bought over the Net, credit card fraud, bank fraud and multi-level marketing, according to a statement by the FBI and the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC).
The charges were the result of "Operation Cyber Loss", and involved 61 separate local, state and federal investigations.
"Just as neighbourhood watch programs keep watch over their neighbourhoods and report suspicious activity to law enforcement, Internet users now have a 'cyber community watch' program," said Attorney General John Ashcroft.
"When individual citizens, businesses, and consumer agencies work with law enforcement at all levels, we help ensure the safety and security of the Internet." ®