Public/Private Partnerships to Combat Cross-Border Fraud: Notice of Public Workshop and Opportunity for Public Comment

Workshop Will Emphasize Public/Private Partnerships to Accomplish Mutual Goals

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop on February 19 and 20, 2003, to explore how public and private sector entities, including businesses, industry associations, and consumer groups, can work together cooperatively to combat cross-border fraud, as well as existing barriers to cooperation. The workshop also will focus on when and how the private sector can share information about fraud with law enforcement, including financial and asset information about investigative targets and defendants. The workshop will provide a forum for discussing the feasibility of using practical and technological solutions from the private sector to address cross-border fraud perpetrated over the Internet. It also will highlight existing business-to-business initiatives. The FTC will publish a Federal Register notice announcing the workshop shortly.

The workshop will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on February 19 and 20, 2003, at the FTC headquarters building, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C., and will consist of representatives from government and the private sector, both domestic and international, as well as consumer groups. It will provide a public forum to discuss the advantages and potential impediments of increased cooperation to combat cross-border fraud, and to create concrete proposals for cooperation. FTC staff anticipates that the workshop will serve as a springboard for substantive partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as an information-gathering tool to assist the Commission in other initiatives to combat cross-border fraud.

FTC officials emphasize that many legitimate businesses, including banks, credit-card issuers, electronic payment systems operators, telephone companies, Internet service providers, and courier services, have a stake in addressing cross-border fraud and improving consumer confidence in the global marketplace. "Cross-border fraud hurts legitimate businesses as well as consumers. This workshop is an important first step in developing new initiatives, and we welcome broad input from businesses and consumer groups to accomplish our shared goals," said FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris.

The workshop will be open to the public and there is no attendance fee. Written requests to participate as a panelist in the workshop must be filed by January 24, 2003. Written comments on the topics that the panelists will discuss must be filed on or before February 14, 2003.

The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice announcing the public workshop conference was 5-0.

Copies of the Federal Register notice and other documents pertaining to cross-border fraud are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161
Staff Contact:
Stacy Feuer
International Consumer Protection
202-326-3072