The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Internet crime: What a tangled web

That financial fraudsters will practise to deceive is a big worry as the World Wide Web and other Internet services proliferate. And when electronic cash is commonplace what will become of the traditional monetary system? Michelle Celarier reports on criminal bugs in a promising-looking system and the solutions proposed by regulators and law-enforcers

The bright-blue starry sky depicted on an Australian web page for Fortuna Alliance offers an enticing proposition: "Make your income soar like the space shuttle." But a click of the mouse is enough to bring World Wide Web surfers down to earth. A web press release by Fortuna acknowledges that its US home page was shut down by the US Federal Trade Commission in May, after the company had been accused of running an illegal pyramid scheme. Operating for just six months out of a small town in the US Northwest, Fortuna, the FTC alleges, bilked tens of thousands of investors in dozens of countries out of an estimated $9 million. By value, it is the biggest Internet fraud to date.

The Fortuna case has opened the FTC's eyes to the vast potential for Internet crime ­ and has taught it something about the complications of international law enforcement that can be involved. "The Internet makes it possible to perpetrate such a crime anywhere," says Charles Harwood, FTC regional director in charge of the case. After receiving warnings from authorities in Australia, Canada and from the local police before being shut down, Fortuna's operators disappeared offshore, as did most of the money they had collected.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree