30,000 fall for ComputerTan scam

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Over 30,000 people have signed up to a web site offering to let them tan via their computer monitor without realising it was a scam to publicise a skin cancer charity.

ComputerTan promised to transform computer monitors into UV sunlamps so that users could get glowing tans while they work.

The web site then offered a free trial which displayed brightening lights bars on the screen before showing a message from the charity.

"The fact that so many people fell for the ComputerTan hoax demonstrates the frightening truth that getting a tan - regardless of the risk - is still appealing for many people," Simon Hill, new business director at McCann Erickson told Brand Republic.

The campaign was carried out by skin cancer charity Sckin founded by the family and friends of Karen Clifford, who died of skin cancer in 2005. The group campaigns to highlight the dangers of tanning booths and sunbathing.

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