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Online auctions are wildly popular; nearly one third of adults in the United States who go online have participated in them—an estimated 35.6 million people. Most auction-goers are happy with their experiences and confident that they won’t run into trouble. However, at NCL’s Fraud Center, online auctions have consistently ranked as the top complaint since that category was added to the database in 1997.
Under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Consumers League was able to award stipends totaling $20,000 to 11 agencies and organizations for a wide variety of projects aimed at educating senior citizens about telemarketing fraud. The stipends were distributed in the spring of 2006. Some programs concluded in the spring 2007, some in the fall, and some are ongoing using other sources of funding.