Feds probe Web sites offering big paydays
Report: FBI, SEC are investigating offers of generous payments in return for viewing Internet ads.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Federal and state authorities are investigating Web sites that promise to generate generous returns to viewers who look at their ads, according to a report published Friday.

These so-called "auto surf" sites are Internet versions of a classic Ponzi scheme, a type of fraud that promises vast returns to investors but pays them with money from subsequent investors instead of revenue generated by business, the Wall Street Journal said.

Spy on yourself online
Forget spyware. Here comes myware. Soon you'll collect data on your own Web use for fun and profit.(Full story.)

One of the largest such sites, 12dailyPro, attracts visitors by offering them free memberships. But in order to earn cash, members have to "upgrade" their membership in $6 increments, with a maximum investment at any one time of $6,000, the newspaper said.

These sites, which piggyback on the surge in Internet advertising, have drawn scrutiny as law enforcement authorities focus more on Internet crimes, the report said.

The 12dailyPro site, which recently claimed it had 300,000 members from around the world, is being investigated by the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission and at least two states, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The FBI's Internet Crimes Complaint Center received 207,000 complaints in 2004, the latest numbers available, up 66 percent from the previous year, but the agency says only a small percentage of those were related to investment fraud, according to the newspaper.

-------------------

Click here for the latest tech headlines. Top of page

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.