FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection has seven divisions, each with its own areas of expertise:
- Advertising Practices protects consumers by enforcing the nation's truth-in-advertising laws, with particular emphasis on claims for food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, and tobacco and on conduct related to high-tech products and the Internet, such as the dissemination of spyware.
- Consumer and Business Education plans, develops, and implements creative national campaigns to alert consumers to their rights and
to explain the science of compliance to industry.
- Enforcement litigates civil contempt and civil penalty actions to enforce all FTC federal court injunctions and administrative orders that address consumer protection issues, including advertising and financial practices, data security, high-tech fraud,
and telemarketing and other scams. The Division also coordinates FTC actions with criminal law enforcement agencies through its Criminal Liaison Unit; litigates civil actions against those who defraud consumers; and develops, reviews, and enforces a variety of consumer protection rules.
- Financial Practices protects consumers from deceptive and unfair practices in the financial services industry, including protecting consumers from predatory or discriminatory lending practices, as well as deceptive or unfair loan servicing, debt collection, and credit counseling or other debt assistance practices.
- Marketing Practices leads the Commission's response to Internet, telecommunications, and direct-mail fraud; deceptive spam; fraudulent business, investment, and work-at-home schemes; and violations of the Do Not Call provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
- Planning and Information litigates matters involving the bankruptcy of a target company; collects, analyzes, and makes available to law enforcement consumer fraud, identity theft, and National Do Not Call Registry complaints; assists in the distribution of redress to consumers; and provides cutting-edge technological investigative and litigation support.
- Privacy and Identity Protection safeguards consumers' financial privacy; investigates breaches of data security; works to prevent identity theft and aids consumers whose identities have been stolen; and implements laws and regulations for the credit reporting industry, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The Bureau enforces consumer protection laws through aggressive litigation in a fast-paced environment. Attorneys get real courtroom experience, the opportunity to lead cases, and take on primary responsibility for all aspects of the litigation.
The Bureau's actions include individual company and industry-wide investigations, administrative and federal court litigation, rulemaking proceedings, and consumer and business education. The Bureau also contributes to the Commission's efforts to advise Congress and other government agencies about the impact of proposed actions on consumers and industries.
Attorneys tackle high-profile policy issues, especially in areas where emerging technologies pose threats to consumers and business.