Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

FTC to Host Workshop on Fraud in Vulnerable Communities

The Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop entitled “Fraud Affects Every Community” on Oct. 29, 2014, in Washington to examine how fraud affects groups including older adults, United States service members and veterans, low-income communities, and African-Americans, Latinos, Asians Americans, and Native Americans.

According to the FTC, this workshop is intended to examine the marketplace experiences of people in these communities, identify areas of concern in different communities, and seek to find actionable remedies through cooperation, law enforcement, industry fraud-prevention initiatives, community outreach and education. The event will bring together consumer advocates, state and federal regulators, fraud prevention experts, academics and researchers to discuss the issues. Its findings will enhance the FTC’s ongoing efforts to fight fraud in the marketplace in every community.

The FTC’s law enforcement experience, input from consumer advocates, and survey research reveal that some broadly-targeted frauds – such as telemarketing fraud, debt-relief services, phony opportunities to earn income, and unauthorized billing schemes – are more likely to affect certain communities. Meanwhile, some scams target specific populations – such as service-members shopping for cars, or people seeking help with the immigration process.

The workshop will address the following issues:

  • What are the top consumer protection concerns in each community?
  • What types of fraud are most prevalent in each community?
  • What are the different experiences consumers have on the Internet?
  • What interventions by consumer groups, industry, or academics have been and could be successful to prevent fraud?

Individuals who are interested in speaking at the workshop should email everycommunity@ftc.gov with information about any relevant experience in this area by Sept. 24, 2014. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the FTC’s Constitution Center location at 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. The Commission will publish a more detailed agenda at a later date.

 

Mark Ye
202-589-1834
mye@dbmlawgroup.com