FOR THE CONSUMER
The FTC's monthly newsletter for the Congressional community
It's the news you—and your constituents—can use.
Volume 2 – Number 8
IN THIS ISSUE
...As of August 20, 2003, the DO NOT CALL registry up to 32 million telephone numbers. California, Florida and Texas lead in registrations........
CREDIT DESPAIR? Nationwide credit repair organization to pay $1.15 million in consumer redress. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/08/nationwide.shtm
HAIRY SITUATION. Marketers of COPA hair system agree to settle FTC charges and pay $100,000 in civil penalties and $200,000 in consumer redress. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/08/goodtimes.shtm
NEW COMMISSIONER. Pamela Jones Harbour begins her term as a Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/08/harbour.shtm
PYRAMID SCHEME STOPPED. Court Halts Trek Alliance Pyramid Scheme. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/08/trek.shtm
GREEN LIGHTS AND RED FLAGS. FTC, the Better Business Bureau and the Kentucky Attorney General's office sponsor a one-day back-to-basics workshop on how to comply with truth in advertising standards. The workshop, entitled "Green Lights and Red Flags: Rules of the Road for Advertisers," will be held on September 9 at Bellarmine University and is open to the public. The $30 registration fee includes lunch and a CD-Rom of all course materials. For more information: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/08/greenlights.shtm
INFORMATION SECURITY. Want to set up a town hall meeting with constituents? FTC has resources on cybersecurity for your office to use. For cybersecurity tips, call Derick Rill at (202) 326-3007 or email him at email@example.com.
NEW CONSUMER EDUCATION
NEED A LOAN? THINK TWICE ABOUT USING YOUR HOME AS COLLATERAL. Refinancing, a second mortgage, or a home equity loan may seem like the answer if you need money for bills or home improvements, but if you can’t make the payments, you could lose your home - as well as the equity you’ve built up. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea01.shtm
THE "NIGERIAN" SCAM: COSTLY COMPASSION: Consumer alert warns about advance-fee solicitations offering to make you a profit by moving large sums of money out of another country. Download at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt117.shtm
UNSOLICITED MAIL, TELEMARKETING and EMAIL: WHERE TO GO TO "JUST SAY NO": Consumer alert tells how to cut down on the amount of unsolicited mail, calls and email you receive. Download at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/optoutalrt.shtm
TIP OF THE MONTH - File-sharing: A fair share?
Every day millions of people share music and games online by file-sharing programs. It's often free and easy to connect to this informal network of other computer users with the same file-sharing software. But file-sharing is risky. Consumers may accidentally allow others to copy private files, download a virus or get mired in legal issues from downloading copywritten material. The FTC urges consumers to protect the security of their online information and:
- set up the file-sharing software properly so that you only share the files you want to share
- be aware of spyware, which can be loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and track your browsing habits
- use and update anti-virus software
For more information: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt128.shtm
The FTC's Office of Congressional Relations, 202.326.2195
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