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FTC proud of service to America

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Every year, the Partnership for Public Service awards Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (the “Sammies” – or kind of the Oscars for feds) to highlight excellence in the federal workforce, and programs that make the country better, safer and stronger. This year, the FTC is proud to be a finalist in the Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Category, for our team’s work in creating IdentityTheft.gov. (Please vote for the People’s Choice.) But we’re just as proud that the FTC’s work is represented in three of the four finalists in that category.

The first of the three is Volkswagen, the biggest false advertising case in FTC history. In June 2016, Volkswagen settled with the FTC over false advertising charges. VW had said their 2.0 liter diesel cars had low levels of emissions – but they didn’t. But 550,000 cars did have devices that illegally cheated emissions tests. The FTC team led by Jonathan Cohen got $10 billion dollars back for owners and lessees – and another $1.25 billion back for 3.0 liter diesel owners in early 2017. EPA, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the California Air Resource Board worked hard to build a case that showed blatant violations of the clean air law, and laid the foundation for criminal investigations that resulted in indictments against VW execs, and an additional $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties. But those billions and billions of dollars back in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of people? That was the FTC team.

The second finalist is the powerhouse team that fought IRS impersonator calls. Led by Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), this team fought against the avalanche of millions of threatening – and phony – IRS calls that cost 10,000 people about $54 million. TIGTA brought together DOJ, the FCC, local police, Homeland Security, and the FTC. Betsy Broder – from the FTC’s the Office of International Affairs, a group that helps fight international fraud by working with their counterparts in other countries – worked with this team. The TIGTA-led team even got telephone and money transfer companies to help stop these scammers. Their work led to the indictment of 61 people in 2016, including 32 people from five call centers in India.

The third finalist is, of course, our IdentityTheft.gov team, led by Nat Wood. You can read the story of how we created this powerful online tool that lets people report identity theft and build their own personal recovery plan. More than 600,000 people have reported their identity theft through the website since its launch. They’ve been able to get a list of steps to take – specific to their own experience – and track their recovery. With the ongoing threat of identity theft, each of us now has a tool that makes recovery easier should it ever happen. So please vote early and often – up to once a day until September 15 – for the People’s Choice! Winners will be announced in September.

Tagged with: identity theft

Comments

Thank you for the (FTC)Information. Whom ever gets to win , and the other people whom does not win ( well) to Me they All are winners. James.

Nat Wood

I did not see any of the Volkswagen FTC team led by Jonathan Cohen on the Sammies Finalist List. Did I miss something. they should be recognized for their great work.

Thank you very much for your time and efforts. I sincerely appreciate all of your useful online information. I have great respect for your organization. Please continue the excellent work!

Tried to vote today but says I need to log into Facebook?.?.? Never said that yesterday when I voted
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Once again, these cases demonstrate the need for regulatory oversight and enforcement. Good work FTC.

I am sure the people at the FTC are doing great things but it would be nice if they could come down very very hard on the telephone industry for not implementing technology to foil spam calls that are spoofing caller id numbers. I will regain my faith in the FTC, when and only when my phone call ratio of 10+ spam calls to 1 legit call on my landline and my cell gets back to something similar to what we had only 30 years ago when there were none.

Well Nat Wood gets my vote, although all three situations are compelling. It's gratifying that someone went to such efforts to make things easier for those who has been victimized. Putting information in easy to understand English is to be applauded. How many of us have read paragraphs of legalese, only to have no idea what is written?

Thank you Mr. Wood. Clearly T his is not just a job to you - you are a man who feels passionate about trying to help others. Good karma, good man!

It will be nice if FTC makes arrangements with local Newspapers to run a column daily on the different scams , I am sure the papers will do it for free that will boost their business.

Congrats Contestants, winners and runner ups!!!! Congrats!!!!

Is there a gov site where we can obtain an annual report or history of every place and time when our SSN has been used? Something similar to annualcreditreport.com. We need to be able to see a report on every time our social security number is used and who is accessing info through use of it and who is requesting services through use of our SSN. I am worried that I might be a victim of synthetic identity theft.

If you're worried about mis-use of your Social Security number, look at these warning signs of identity theft.  If one of the warning signs happens to you, you can file an Identity Theft report at IdentityTheft.gov and get a personal recovery plan.

hello I am thinking about the work and business of the ftc.i do see that they are doing good things that individuals don't know how to do themselves.so far I can depend on them to help me recover from fraud in my case and by them having a law suit with department of justice and western union,i am plannining too render my personal information,and become a part of their redemption program.and possibly get some of the money that I was frauded out of,i see that it takes time,but in my opinion I think that it is a worthwile way to protect yourself from future scammers; thank you ftc,for your leadership in matters like this one..we love the u.s.,,,Eric

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