The Digital Citizens Action Alliance was launched last week with the aim of increasing public awareness of the threats that consumers face online. "Digital Citizens strongly believes that addressing these challenges requires the active participation of all Internet stakeholders -- individuals, governments, and industry -- to make the Internet safer," the group said in a statement. "By working together, we can ensure these challenges are solved in a cooperative fashion."

"One recent phenomenon the group will highlight is conference scams, where criminals set fake conference events on issues such as global warming and invite people to attend after paying conference or hotel fees, said Garth Bruen, president of spam-fighting service KnujOn and a member of Digital Citizens," writes Computerworld's Grant Gross. "Internet users have to make an 'immense' effort to keep up with online scams, and one of the goals of the new group is to alert them to new dangers, he said."

"The Internet is an essential part of our lives, yet it also can be a risky place, especially for society's most vulnerable," Digital Citizens executive director Tom Galvin said in a statement. "We need to help consumers so they don't become victims -- from counterfeit drugs, online scams or virus-laden videos or software. As a nation, we have to take this threat seriously. There is a role for individuals, to better protect themselves; for government, to create stiffer penalties and enforce the laws against those who harm Americans; and, for the companies, to work together despite competing interests to find solutions that Internet users desperately need."