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by CSO Contributor

Fake Internet Auctions Bilked Buyers, FTC Says; Argentina Declares Flood Disaster; Berlin Riot Begins May Day in Europe; Nigerian Oil Rig Hostages May Be Freed

May 01, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Fake Internet Auctions Bilked Buyers, FTC Says

In the biggest crackdown yet on Internet auction fraud, the Federal Trade Commission and state and local prosecutors in 29 states said they have taken legal action in 57 cases that bilked thousands of consumers nationwide. According to a story in todays Mercury News, most of the cases in Operation Bidder Beware involved transactions on San Jose-based eBay, which accounts for an estimated 90 percent of global online auctions. The cases highlighted the increasingly devious methods of online criminals, including identity theft and fake escrow companies. Authorities said eBay has been cooperative, helping to track down both victims and scam artists.Argentina Declares Flood DisasterBBC News, northern Argentina has experienced the worst flooding since at least 1573. Local officials have evacuated 50,000 people and say that seven people are known to have died in Santa Fe province, with another man dead in neighboring Entre Rios. Argentinas President Eduardo Duhalde, who described the floods as a national catastrophe, has announced an emergency aid package worth over $2 million. Local health officials say the floods have also caused a dramatic increase in hepatitis and gastro-intestinal illnesses. The BBC reports that evacuees worried about the prospect of looting set up pickets to control access to their neighborhoods and have complained about the lack of political attention paid to their plight. President Duhalde said that there is no system that can anticipate events that happen every 400 years.

According to the

Berlin Riot Begins May Day in EuropeCNN today, large demonstrations were expected in Berlin, Paris, Rome, London, Athens and Madrid with protests against the U.S.-led war against Iraq alongside traditional trade union demands for workers’ rights. In the German capital Berlin, concertgoers last night errupted into a riot, throwing rocks, overturning cars and fighting with police. In that city 7,500 police backed by water cannons have been drafted into the Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg districts which have seen rioting in the past.

May Day celebrations saw security stepped up in all the major European capitals as tens of thousands of peace and labor activists prepared to march today. According to

Nigerian Oil Rig Hostages May Be FreedThe Guardian today. A senior navy official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the captives should be rescued imminently. It was unclear if that meant a raid or an organized surrender by the hostage-takers. A spokesman for Transocean, which operates the rigs, earlier said the navy was nowhere near the rigs. But a pilot for a private helicopter company told the Associated Press he and other crew members had been asked by Nigerian officials to be ready for a possible air evacuation of those on board the rigs later today.

The Nigerian navy was today preparing to free 97 foreigners taken hostage on oil rigs by striking workers, according to reports being checked by the British foreign office, according to