The consumer affairs office of the state of Massachusetts has created a series of phony websites
designed to teach people how to avoid online scams. The sites advertise products such as work-at-home deals, weight-loss products, and free trips. If anyone tries to order something from these sites, they're directed to a page identifying it as a scam and telling them how they could have spotted the scam. My favorite one is the "Envelope Elf"
The SEC did something similar back in 2002. It created a hoax site for McWhortle Enterprises, Inc
. The idea was to teach investors that just because a company has a website, that doesn't mean it's a legitimate business.
The SEC actually registered the domain name mcwhortle.com. The Massachusetts consumer affairs office, however, parked all its hoax sites at the same domain: http://topmassachusettsdeals.com. I think they should have paid the $20 and registered envelope-elf.com.