In April of 2001, responding to the challenges of multinational Internet fraud, and working to enhance consumer protection and consumer confidence in e-commerce, 13 countries unveiled econsumer.gov, a joint effort to gather and share cross-border e-commerce complaints. Today, consumer protection agencies in 28 countries participate in this initiative.
The project has two components: a multilingual public website, and a government, password-protected website. The public site allows consumers to lodge cross-border complaints, and to try to resolve their complaints through means other than formal legal action. Using the Consumer Sentinel network (a database of consumer complaint data and other investigative information operated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission), the incoming complaints are shared with participating consumer protection law enforcers.