FTC

After 100 years, looking ahead to our next century

One hundred years ago today, the New York Times’ news pages were filled with coverage of the outbreak of World War I in Europe. There were stories about the newly opened Panama Canal and the growing movement for women’s suffrage. For $200, an ad in the paper offered readers the chance to purchase a Victrola phonograph.

Two weeks earlier in September 1914, readers of the Times may also have noticed a news item under the single-column headline: “Trade Board Bill Wind-Up.” It reported that Congress had enacted new antitrust legislation creating a bipartisan, five-member body called the Federal Trade Commission.

FTC@100 logo

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Company promised fake FTC refunds

You got a robocall from someone working with the FTC with a message that promised to help you get a refund from the agency. If you ever lost money to a scam, it might have been a tough call to ignore. Turns out ignoring the call would have been the right call because — you guessed it: it was a scam.

Drum roll, please…

The FTC recently attended DEF CON 22, and challenged the tech-savvy to help us zap “Rachel from Cardholder Services” and her robocall buddies. How? The agency hosted a contest to see who could develop a cutting-edge robocall honeypot — an information system designed to attract robocallers, and help researchers and investigators understand and minimize illegal calls. Today, the FTC announced the winners, who will receive a combined total of $12,000 in prizes.

Is your shopping buddy app-y?

A good shopping buddy has a sharp eye, knows the lay of the land, and can find the best deals on the products you want. A great shopping buddy might even share coupons with you.

Millions of people have found new shopping buddies — their smartphones. Shopping apps for use in brick-and-mortar stores have been downloaded millions of times.

mobile shopping apps report cover

Driving a deal on a used set of wheels

With the average price of a new car idling at over $31,000, you might be thinking about buying used. After all, the average price for a used car from a dealership is about $18,000. You can buy used cars through a variety of commercial outlets: franchise and independent dealers, rental car companies, leasing companies, used car superstores, and online. Of course, you can buy directly from an individual, too, but that route comes with limited consumer protections. Here are a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Prime refunds

The FTC sues companies that make deceptive claims about their products or services. When we settle a case we try to get refunds for consumers who lost money, if that’s possible.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

“Pending FTC complaint” emails are fakes

Have you gotten an email with the subject line “Pending consumer complaint” that looks like it came from the FTC? The email warns that a complaint against you has been filed with the FTC. It asks you to click on a link or attachment for more information or to contact the FTC.

These emails pull out all the stops to look official: They have an FTC seal, references to the “Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)” and a “formal investigation,” and what look like real FTC links. The truth is that they’re fakes.

Let’s celebrate Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. At the FTC, we celebrate and honor the many female leaders whose work has significantly impacted the agency’s mission.

From Las Vegas to the world

Earlier this week, law enforcement, legal services attorneys, consumer advocates and nearly 120 other people found common ground in Las Vegas. The Federal Trade Commission put together “Protecting Nevada’s Consumers: A Common Ground Conference” to discuss the consumer protection issues facing Nevadans. What did we learn? That Nevadans face some unique challenges – but many more are the same kinds of challenges we see across the region and country.

Finding Common Ground

Staffers from the FTC’s East Central Regional Office, based in Cleveland, Ohio, recently met in Pittsburgh with legal services attorneys, consumer advocates, the PA Office of the Attorney General, the US Attorney’s Office, and other federal agencies. Participants came from throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.

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