FOR THE CONSUMER
The FTC's monthly newsletter for the Congressional community
It's the news you—and your constituents—can use.
Volume 4 – Number 1
IN THIS ISSUE
DID YOU NOTICE? The FTC issued its final rule on notices in prescreened offers for credit or insurance. The rule requires a “layered” notice – a short portion on the first page of the solicitation and a longer portion containing further information.
Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/01/050124factafrn.shtm
PENNY WISE or POUND FOOLISH? Body Wise International must pay over $3.5 Million to settle the FTC's charges that its advertising for “AG-Immune” Dietary Supplement was deceptive. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/01/bodywise.shtm
EXERCISE IN A BOTTLE. The FTC settlement with Enforma Natural Products, the sellers of “Fat Trapper Plus” and “Exercise in a Bottle,” bans Enforma from advertising weight-loss products and requires them to pay redress.
Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/01/enforma.shtm
COPPA COMMENTS. The FTC seeks comment on a proposed amendment to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which involves a provision allowing operators of websites and online services -- under certain circumstances -- to obtain verifiable parental consent via e-mail.
Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/01/coppafrn.shtm
SCHOOL DAZE. Defendants who operated a college financial aid scam settled FTC charges and will pay $1.4 million in consumer redress. The individual defendants must post a million dollar bond before undertaking any marketing or promotion of a college financial aid assistance program.
Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/01/collegeadvantage.shtm
FAIR WARNING. The Federal Trade Commission has charged a network of corporations with using spam to sell access to online pornography, barraging consumers with emails containing sexually-explicit content without the required warning label. A federal district court has issued a temporary restraining order against the defendants and froze their assets, pending a preliminary hearing.
Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/01/globalnetsolutions.htm
NCPW. The FTC joins with local, state and other federal government agencies and national consumer advocacy groups to sponsor the 7th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) from February 6-12, 2005. This year's theme is "Identity Theft: When Fact Becomes Fiction." The NCPW website, www.consumer.gov/ncpw, offers resources to download and use in consumer protection promotions. Check the free Outreach Toolkit for sample materials -- a press release, letter to the editor, poster, public service announcements and more -- to use in your own promotional activities. For more information visit: www.consumer.gov/ncpw or email Carol at email@example.com.
Are you in Washington, DC? Visit the NCPW display at the West Lobby of Union Station on Monday February 7.
NEW & REVISEDCONSUMER EDUCATION
Preguntas y Respuetas: El Registro Nacional No Llame (Q&A: The National Do Not Call Registry) Spanish-language booklet has 40 frequently asked questions and answers for consumers about the National Do Not Call Registry. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/salt107.htm
Nueva Ley Promueve el Acceso a Informes de Crédito Gratuitos. (New Law Promotes Access to Free Credit Reports) Spanish-language booklet explains consumers' right to a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months, and how to obtain it. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/scre34.shtm
TIP OF THE MONTH - IDENTITY THEFT
Your rights if an identity thief strikes
Did you know an estimated 27 million people have been victims of identity theft over the past 5 years? This year, National Consumer Protection Week focuses on identity theft. The resources on www.consumer.gov/ncpw can help you reduce your risk of identity theft, and learn what to do if it happens to you. The Outreach Toolkit helps you share those tips with others in your community. Download a sample press release, logo, poster, quiz, newsletter article, or letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Use these resources to share helpful information any number of ways throughout the year:
- Hold a town hall meeting with NCPW materials branded with the NCPW logo and your letterhead.
- Provide NCPW materials to local libraries and schools.
- Place the sample article into your constituent newsletter or in newsletters sent out by your church or civic group.
Visit www.consumer.gov/ncpw for more tips on promoting NCPW and protecting your personal information.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
FTC'S OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS: 202-326-2195.
Check out the CONGRESSIONAL RESOURCES portion of our Web site at www.ftc.gov/ftc/congress.shtm No password needed to access.
To order free FTC consumer information, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, Member or Committee affiliation, and mailing address.
To file a fraud complaint, go to www.ftc.gov or call FTC's toll-free line 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
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Send email to email@example.com with your name, Member or Committee affiliation, email address, and the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the body of the message.