The Highlights of the Highlights

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Every spring, the FTC issues its Annual Highlights for the previous year. It’s like a corporate annual report, summarizing what we did and how we did it. Interested in our mission to protect consumers? Here are some of 2014’s highlights:

  • We shut down scams. Scammers – like fraudulent telemarketers, disreputable debt collectors, and bogus tech support schemers – are good at what they do. That’s why the FTC’s investigations and lawsuits are so important – uncovering scammers’ lies and closing down their operations. When we can, we get money back for victims –and in 2014, we returned more than $65 million to 743,111 people.
  • We promoted truth in advertising. Last year, we got court orders against companies that made unsupported claims – for example, that their products would help people lose weight, improve their memories, or prevent allergies in children. We also filed suits against several companies that billed people without their approval.
  • We helped protect people’s privacy and personal information. We sued companies over apps that weren’t as secure as they claimed, programs that misrepresented their privacy practices, and sites that improperly collected personal information from children.

2014 Stats & Data infographic

In addition to law enforcement, we had active policy and education programs. We hosted a series of consumer protection events dealing with a variety of technology-related issues, including Big Data, consumer health data, alternative scoring products, and mobile device tracking. In addition, as part of our Every Community initiative, we hosted an event to explore how Fraud Affects Every Community and another about Debt Collection and the Latino Community.

During 2014, we published 148 blog posts for business people and attorneys, and 261 blog posts for consumers. Posts about mobile cramming, ransom malware, advertising disclosures, fake IRS collectors, and tech support scams were among the most popular. More than 40,000 people subscribe to business blog updates, and almost 84,000 subscribe to the English and Spanish consumer blogs.

Want more details about FTC cases, reports and education campaigns? Check out the 2014 FTC Annual Highlights.

Comments

Keep up the good Work

Advertising. do you have or ever made studies for new construction defects or rather shaddy construction? why is there such a panacea that for all these builders in the area to stud you with a defective home and it seems that the buyer cannot do anything. is there such thing as a study on these?

Thanks, It's one of a handful of emails that I look forward to, to keep me informed.

Well, I haven't heard a word from anyone about my "wonderful;" scammers, who continue to, contact me! Amazing. I just cannot believe that they continue to do "business in the USA. They really must love it here because they get away with it! The "Winners International" group must have friends in high places is all that I can think of. They resurface with different people every so often.

I just received a phone call saying I was in trouble with the IRS and that if I don't call them back all they can say is good luck! I which I would have got the phone number they gave so I could have gave it to the IRS to have it shut down.

I was facing some difficulties while trying relate to the IRS tax return but seems like many scams don't allow me to start the processe neither to finish the compulsory tax return deadline April 15, am very sorry for this but have to forward the complain to a lawyer late to comply with latest rules and regulations regarding the IRS.GOV penalties.

I would like to applaud & commend the wonderful services rendered to the nation. Keep the good work up & God bless

Hello Sir, I have received the following email and would like to know whether it is a scam or not.

Good day to you my dear , how are you doing today and also your family, I am writing to inform you that your total funds have been gathered up from all over the world by me Barack Hussein Obama II President of the United States to total sum of $7.6million which will be brought to your home and handed over to you in person with a lots of security personal signed by head of this country. This order was signed by head of this country to help all citizens final make sure that everyone receive they belongs from all over the world and stop falling to the hands of the IMPOSTERS fraudsters Hackers Scammers which have been going on all over the world, we the government officials don’t want to see any of citizens fail to hands of the wrong people imposters anymore, that is why I decided to help gathered all your total funds from all over the world to total sum of $7.6million and it will be handed over to you in person by head of your state with a lots of security personal as soon as you send the needed charge to obtain the presidential permit order to enable you useable of your total funds in the country without any problem as that is only thing delaying you funds to be handed over to your so you can be able to start making use of it without any delaying OK. Your urgently response will be highly needed once you receive this email so that I will give you the receiver information which you can use to remit the payment to obtain the presidential permit order to allow you useable of your funds without any delaying OK. ========================== DrJohn henrywillams 9:55 AM (0 minutes ago) to me

HERE IS THE REQUESTED INFORMATION TO SEND THE $155 USD TO UNITED STATE VIA WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM RECEIVER'S FIRST NAME:____JACK RECEIVER'S LAST NAME:_____K.MCCARTT ADDRESS:____________3019 HAYMAN TERRACE, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80910-2933 U.S.A COUNTRY______U.S.A STATE: ________COLORADO SPRINGS ZIP CODE:______80910 AMOUNT_________$155 TEXT QUESTION____INSTRUCTION ANSWER___________GIVEN MTCN NUMBER_____ SENDER'S ADDRESS______

DUE GET BACK TO US ONCE YOU RECEIVE THIS EMAIL WITH THE PAYMENT DETAILS OKAY. ATTACH THE PAYMENT DETAILS TO US ONCE YOU SEND THE FEE OKAY. THANKS, BEST REGARD. DR JOHN HENRY;

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA II PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO HOLD THE OFFICE. ________________________

If you get a call or email from someone who says they work for the government and says you won money, it’s a scam. The government does not call you on the phone or send you an email or text to give you money.

A scammer might say you won money, but say you must pay to get it. If you have to pay, it's not a prize. They might tell you to pay a fee, or taxes, or for a special certificate, and ask you to wire money. If you do that, you will lose the money you send.

While reading the comments on this page I couldn't help but notice the terrible grammar, spelling and punctuation in almost all of them. You are posting for the world to see on this site! Americans really need to take more pride in their basic language. People who misspell and use incorrect grammar look uneducated. Thank you!

I had to make a comment to concerned american. I am sorry that what you decided to point out to others who have terrible grammar , spelling and punctuation I do want to first thank you to everyone who takes the time to post and comment on anything that by doing so can make such a difference in possibly preventing even one person from experiencing illegal practices or be part of making a difference in stopping illegal fraud or practices that have harmed others. I last want to make a point I am faced everyday when I also want to post on blogs or even on hear. I have a very intelligent brain processing in many testing. I to am one who misspell or use incorrect grammar, as you posted look uneducated. I have a disability what my mind is thinking and all the information I want to share well what is called processing from head to paper is so hard . I do not have that gift as others do. Please make sure the time you took to post to comment well I call it judging others what could be also there disability or not. I ask you to just be thankful its those who are who are willing to help make the federal trade who has done such outstanding changes going after illegal practices, I am so honored to be able to get emails on all the news and changes you continue to make. Thank you God bless.

Even though we are no no call lists, there seems to be nothing we can do about recorded callers? And sadly, where payday loans left off in our state, deed and auto lien loans took over.

These scammers don't just need to be shut down, they need to be arrested. Shutting them down alone will just allow them to do the same thing somewhere else. As long as they aren't put out completely, they will continue to make scams by any means possible. In other words, just making them pay back what was stolen from victims is nothing but a slap on the wrist for them. If it were up to me, I would have them imprisoned for life in federal prison with the key thrown away.

Just to add to this, some of these scammers are part of a network. Just going after them individually isn't going to stop this, because their network can always replace them with someone else to do the same thing they did. Also, some of them have locations all across the country, so going after one of them won't stop them either, because they can always use other locations or set up a new one, which is like going after a terrorist cell. If you really want to stop such scam networks, then you must find their central location and stop them at the source by arresting everyone who is responsible, not just some of them. By doing this, their entire network is stopped.

I found that turning off the answering machine and letting them go to voice mail has solved my problem. Hope this helps some of you.

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