This Friday, July 31, WebWatch will officially close its doors. WebWatch is an online watchdog run by Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports. WebWatch’s mission had been to improve the quality of information on the internet by providing unbiased editorial research on websites and online businesses, as well as promoting consumer awareness of online scams and fraud.

Sadly, WebWatch closed its doors not from a lack of demand for its services but rather a lack of funds, as its grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the John S. and Jasme L. Knight Foundation and the Open Society Institute had expired and the Consumers Union was no longer able to cover costs. It’s not clear why the aforementioned charities were forced to cut funding, but reports of online fraud are at an all time high and consumers now more than ever need reliable information about online businesses and websites.  While we at Sitejabber also strives to provide consumers with better information, the high quality editorial content of WebWatch will be sorely missed. But a bit of good news: the WebWatch blog will remain up and is an excellent resource for all consumers.

Additional coverage of the shut-down can be found on WalletPop.