Trading standards officers are to crack down on rogue online traders in an attempt to make ecommerce more attractive to consumers.
Trading standards offices nationwide are being given £500,000 for work to identify internet scams and fraudsters.
One project, in Scotland, will see trading standards officers investigating dotcom chemists selling potentially dangerous prescription medicines on the internet.
Another project will examine the impact of ecommerce via digital TV services, while another will look at whether easy access to loans and finance online has had an effect on consumer debt.
Six other projects will also share the funding.
Consumer minister Melanie Johnson (above) said that the work is important in making the UK the best place for ecommerce by 2005.
She explained that boosting consumer confidence would go a long way to achieving this goal.
"Consumers are often uncertain of their rights and of what to do when transactions go wrong," said Johnson in a statement.
"We are determined to give a better deal for consumers. Trading standards officers all over the UK play a vital role in cracking down on cheats and identifying scams."
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