Web spider catches scams and schemes

Illegal scams and schemes promoted on the Internet will now catch the eye of Scamseek, an Internet-document classification system developed with the assistance of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

The Scamseek project had a $2.2 million budget with joint funding from ASIC, the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (CMCRC), Security Markets Automated Research Training and Surveillance and the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

Scamseek is Australia’s largest research project in language technology, according to a spokesman, and has been developed in two phases, including a 16-month trial.

The first phase aimed to perform document classification of Internet pages that publish financial advice by unregistered advisers and illegal investment schemes. The second stage created a unified document classifier involving a Web spider that searches the Internet 24x7 for potential scam sites, which are then fed into the classifier.

These sorts of Web sites were previously identified through manual searches.

Scamseek can then assess and aggregate the risk associated with information on a Web site, identify people and companies mentioned within the text and mark sites for further analysis that are above the acceptable risk threshold.

According to ASIC director of enforcement Keith Inman, the Internet has become an increasingly popular tool for illegal schemes because of the vast number of people it can reach in a very short space of time, without ever having direct contact with investors.

“Before the development of Scamseek, ASIC [staff] would manually trawl the Internet for financial advice by unregistered advisers, illegal investment schemes, financial services scams and stock market tipsters attempting to manipulate the prices of shares,” Inman said.

Results from trials conducted using Scamseek have been positive, and a number of suspicious Web sites have been identified as potential scams or illegal schemes, the spokesman said. ASIC recently took action against Gramax Investment Club for allegedly operating unlicensed investment clubs promoted via the Internet.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Siobhan McBride

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?