Welcome to Consumer Reports Advocacy

For 85 years CR has worked for laws and policies that put consumers first. Learn more about CR’s work with policymakers, companies, and consumers to help build a fair and just marketplace at TrustCR.org

Consumer WebWatch’s ‘Look Before You Click’ Campaign

Grant-Funded Iniative Educates New York Consumers About Internet Fraud

Consumer Reports WebWatch’s “Look Before You Click” campaign, supported by a CyberAwareness Grant grant from the New York State Office of Attorney General and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, works to help educate consumers statewide about Internet fraud.

The campaign’s latest release includes additional findings from its exclusive survey of online fraud among New York Internet users.

The “Look Before You Click” campaign has published an exclusive six-part investigation of auction fraud; fact sheets full of handy tips to stay safe online in both English and Spanish; previous findings from its online fraud survey; and an original video commissioned by WebWatch to demonstrate the dangers of phishing and the presence of fraudsters online.

Below are links to the survey, press releases, the auction fraud feature, the phishing video and the fact sheets.

Online Fraud Survey

An exclusive survey was commissioned by Consumer WebWatch, designed by the Consumer Reports National Research Center and conducted with a sample of 2,008 panelists representative of the geographic population distribution of New York State. Eligible respondents had been using the Internet for more than a year and owned a home computer for at least six months. The sample was representative of New York State residents who had been online for at least a year and is not nationally representative. The results may differ for a sample of less experienced users. Click on the links below to download results by group, or the complete survey.

Online Fraud Survey Press Releases

  • Read the first online fraud survey press release.
  • Read the second online fraud survey press release.
  • Read the third online fraud survey press release.

An Exclusive Investigation of Online Auction Fraud

Consumer Reports WebWatch commissioned a six-part investigative feature examining various aspects of online auction fraud. The features below include an overview of auction fraud, the results of a Consumer Reports survey of eBay users, case studies of consumers who were burned in online auctions, the results of WebWatch’s own purchases and advice on how to avoid auction fraud. Click on the links below to download PDFs of the multi-part report.

  1. An Examination of Online Auction Fraud in New York State
  2. eBay Survey Sheds Light on Buyers And Sellers
  3. Online Auction Lessons Learned the Hard Way by New Yorkers
  4. What We Got After Spending More Than $1,800 in Online Auctions
  5. Detecting and Avoiding Online Auction Fraud
  6. Do’s and Don’ts Before You Bid, Buy, or Sell

Gone Phishing Video

Consumer Reports WebWatch proudly presents a three-minute animated video with an original song written and performed by singer/songwriter Dean Friedman and animated by Powerhouse Animation. Watch the Video. Download the lyrics here.

Consumer Fact Sheets

Below are links eleven PDFs of fact sheets covering a range of consumer online concerns, including auction fraud, phishing, online shopping, social networking and more. For Spanish versions of the fact sheets, click here.

Fact Sheet #1
Ten General Tips to Stay Safe

Fact Sheet #2

Don’t Get Phished

Fact Sheet #3

Online Auction Rip-Offs
Fact Sheet #4
How to Spot Auction Fraud
Fact Sheet #5
The Endgame: Improving Your Chances of a Good Auction 

Fact Sheet #6

Don’t Get Hooked by Work-at-Home Scams

Fact Sheet #7
Shopping More Safely Online

Fact Sheet #8
Staying Safe on Social Networks

Fact Sheet #9
Make Sure You ‘Complete Delete’ Your PC Before Recycling or Selling

Fact Sheet #10
Gone Wireless: Protect Yourself from ID Thieves and ‘Freebooters’

Fact Sheet #11
Don’t be Misled by Fake Pictures and Video Online