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.

Comments

Jessica, while I watch your posts everyday, I am sometimes disappointed to hear that a scammer or fraudster was given a penalty and barred from doing whatever it was ever again. Like they will really stop! I don't think that the FTC has police powers but why do we never hear that these people have been convicted and thrown in jail? I would love to hear the rest of the story if there is one.

You'll find information about recent FTC accomplishments in the 2014 Annual Highlights.  The Stats & Data section shows that we returned $65.2 million to 743,111 people in calendar 2014 and obtained orders for redress and disgorgement of $624 million.

The Enforcement section highlights cases against fraudulent  telemarketers, mortgage modification companies, a subprime auto lender, an illegal pyramid scheme and more.

Our Criminal Liaison Unit (CLU) works with criminal authorities to stop consumer fraud, by providing evidence and information that builds strong criminal fraud cases and assists in the trial and conviction of FTC defendants and their associates. In 2014, prosecutors relied on FTC information and support to charge 165 criminal defendants and secure dozens of convictions with sentences averaging almost 7 years. One-third of the defendants received sentences of 10 years or more for their participation in consumer frauds including international lottery, business opportunity, advance fee loan and credit card scams. For example, Pasquale Pappalardo, a defendant in the FTC’s Timeshare Mega Media case, is now serving a 20-year sentence for pretending to have buyers lined up for consumers’ timeshare properties and then tricking them into paying hundreds or thousands of dollars in upfront fees.  

i dont any resve the money

So how come it is taking over three years to settle my case? I got scammed via a company saying they can help on a loan modification, then uses a lawyer from California that is not licensed to practice in Nevada. Got sanctions against him to pay by the California Supreme Court only to have it halted because the FTC has stepped in on the initial company we used for a loan modification and the case is still not settled. FTC says it's almost finished, but there case should not stop mine, but The State of California needs to see the Court Records that says the case is completed before they can take any further action. Which is now leading to nothing. Have a claim with the FTC also and that will lead to nothing. All I know is we had to declare Bankruptcy Chapter 13; to stop any foreclosure attempts. That's a joke. Mortgage lender has gone to courts to pull out of Bankruptcy and start foreclosure. All lawyers are not advising anyone even us. We have no more rights. We are Senior Citizens and now live on nothing, not even enough for food.

You are not out to help everyone! It seems you help the foreigners more tgen you help the American people or cases that make you look good!

FTC are doing an exceptional job keep up the awesome work.

Then this means there will be no TTP? I think that's going to affect ALL US communities, not in a positive way.

I like to ask a question. as mentioned words are nice. but is the action that is missing. I had a conversation today with a representative that admitted you guys are helpless. how is that suppose to make me feel. are you a agency that protects me from unlawful practices? so why do you allow a matter that has been going on for alomost two and a half years to keep continue to dwstroy lives. you enable these people because there is a lack of accountability. so please and come join my community. because lip service I am done with. this has effected my health mental and physical. these organization are getting away with criminal and unethical actions and they are laughing at you and me. I am at the end of my rope. I have lost faith in our system. because people that follow rules don't win. people with money , and power win. so please if I had a penny for every complaint I have filed that has been forgotten then you are to blame bc you are allowing this bad behavior to go on. do not give people false hope.

I beg to differ about your statement that the FTC works for my community. There have been some major changes and modernizations as to the broadened jurisdiction of the FTC in collaboration with other federal agencies subsequent to complaints I filed with the FTC and was advised they had no jurisdiction.

See FTC you can't please the ungrateful.

Does FTC handle mortgage fraud complaints?

Yes, the FTC takes complaints about mortgage frauds. Go to ftc.gov/complaint to report.

Are you helping me get my money back from Oliver Page at 347-748-1567 another number 1-202-241-0834 My Ref # I call you June 29,2015. I have not hear from you. Telling me you would help me get my money back.

If you filed a complaint with the FTC, and have a question about the complaint, you can go to ftc.gov/complaint and look for the link that says "click here to chat with tech support," or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. The representative will ask you for your reference number.

I received a text from a so called business. I say that because they refuse to tell me the business name. They told me that they are in the help desk with the FTC to refund the money that was scammed from me a couple of months ago. They and the FTC will return my money for a 450.00 fee. 400 is for them and the 50 is for courier expenses. Is the FTC refunding scammed money?

The FTC does send refunds to people, but that text you got is not from the FTC or from anybody working with the FTC. It sounds like a scam.

If the FTC has a refund for you, we'll send you a check. The FTC will never ask you to pay to get a refund, and will never ask you for personal information.

Please go to ftc.gov/complaint and file a complaint about that text. You can give details to help law enforcement investigations.

Go to this page about FTC refunds to read about cases that led to refunds. 

I received a call from somebody claiming to be from the bank that holds my mortgage. Claimed payment had not been made and asked when it would be. I knew it was paid and the amount was off. Then they asked how I usually paid and about the account I used. I told them none of their business, I didn't believe they were from my bank and hung up. The phone number showed up as "Restricted". No way to call them if I wanted to... I answered phone because I thought it may be from a friend that use to have a restricted number. Can these calls be traced? Can these people be caught? Can a report be filed without a phone number?

Yes, you can file a report without having a phone number. You can tell us what the scammers said, when they made the call, and other details. Go to ftc.gov/complaint to report this.

I was looking to find the laws on abuse from police department and attorney that handle my parents estate. Father past first. Then mother 3 weeks latter. The other sisters did our mother estate first and forged all information. Can not get any where with the system and making my parents last wishes. Is there any place or special services that can direct me with help. I am disable and lost of my youngest child to his death . On the job fell 140' from wrongful plate welded on tower safety cover. Sincerity and Praying for comfort with closer

If you need a lawyer, contact your state Bar Association. They might be able to give you a referral. Or, contact a legal aid lawyer in your area.

If you think a lawyer has not acted correctly, you can tell the state Bar Association.

We should all give much kudos to the Federal Trade Commission. We sincerely compliment you on your misdirection, smoke screams and use of self-aggrandizement to further justify the on-going ability to govern, lead, legislate, regulate, and enforce law in the franchising industry.

some message come to my E-mail say you got jack pot.please tell your account number.what to do.

If a person you don't know sends email and wants your account number, it could be a scam. The email could say you won a jackpot or prize, but soon they will ask you to pay.

If you give your account number, they can take your money.

You can ignore the email. Don't tell them your account number. 

This FTC article about Prize Scams says more.

Florida has had 20% of the total foreclosures in the US each month for the past 4 years...according to CoreLogic Reports. This is an above normal percentage and it appears to be due to activities by Servicers that are not acceptable according to the US Code, but no government agency will do anything to stop it. I have an interest as I am becoming one of the statistics. All the complaints do is get listed on an online file...thousands of them. Please stop this theft of homes from our veterans. senior citizens and other Floridians.

I live in a small community, which seems more like a large group of organized criminals. I say this after seeing signs posted, newspaper articles (obituaries), being intimidated, bullied, stolen from.... all because the SGO (Banks and Insurances) have decided to sell bonds and financials that I own. Apparently, this is a very organized 'group', who has the job to divert any communications of mine, to end/stop all attempts I make, to notify and place claim on these investments.
In fact, I called the State Attorney general this week, to ask a simple question. She 'terminated'
the phone call, because she did not want to answer my question. The question was taken from an insurance policy I own, which the original was stolen. What has happened to us, as Americans and our culture of RIGHT and WRONG? This is the end of safety and security as we have all known our entire lives.
THANKS CITI (Group, Bank, etc.. Or whatever legal gymnastics you are attempting now, in order to take away what does NOT belong to you.......

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