The FTC works for your community
“The Federal Trade Commission works for America’s consumers in every community.” I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said those words, or heard them from my colleagues – and that’s a good thing. Since fraud affects every community in our country, it bears repeating: the FTC works for your community.
Now, this is not new. We’ve always worked for all consumers. But we know the US population is changing. As a country, we’re getting older and more diverse, and the FTC wants to be sure we meet the needs of a changing population.
Over the past year, through the agency’s Every Community Initiative, the Bureau of Consumer Protection has worked to learn more about consumer protection issues in a wide range of communities. We’ve done outreach and education, developed partnerships with trusted community advocates, and brought cases. Here are a few highlights from just the past year.
- 10 major conferences. We hosted workshops on how fraud affects every community, how using big data can help or harm consumers, and on how debt collection affects the Latino community. We held conferences on how scams affect immigrant consumers, and our regional offices brought together key players on consumer protection for common ground conferences. And there were partnerships: the Navajo Human Rights Commission helped us reach into the Navajo Nation, and we partnered with the NAACP to reach the African American community in Georgia.
- 140+ outreach events. Our regional and DC staff were everywhere this year: giving seminars and trainings to law school students; holding regular meetings with legal services partners; speaking at senior centers, schools and libraries; briefing ethnic media; holding webinars for consumer advocates and other partners; doing events on military installations and at clinics for veterans; and presenting at national and local conferences.
- 15+ cases specifically affecting key communities. Most of the cases we bring affect a broad cross-section of people – so a case like last year’s action against AT&T really does affect every community. But some scams target specific groups – Spanish-speaking consumers, older adults, military service members, distressed homeowners, and people in financial distress.
What’s next? More. More conferences, more outreach, more cases. And it will all lead to better consumer protections for all of us. Every person we meet, every fraud story we hear, every complaint we receive – they help us better serve the community where you live. Please report fraud when you see or suspect it – report it online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. Because the FTC works for consumers in every community. Including yours.