Exclusive: Web watchdog site shut down by Consumers Union

Consumer Reports WebWatch, a well-known watchdog site that detailed web-based scams and schemes and worked to educate consumers about online perils, is being shut down by its parent, Consumers Union, Walletpop,com has learned.

WebWatch started eight years ago, and in its early years it was a grant-fueled project backed by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. But that grant ended a few years ago and the non-profit advocacy group Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, had been shouldering the costs since.

"We've decided we're not able to continue it," Consumers Union Vice President Ken Weine said. "It was a dollars and cents issue."