The Federal Trade Commission will hold a one-day public workshop at its Washington, D.C. headquarters on November 8, 2001, to discuss office and cleaning supply fraud. The workshop will give FTC staff, states, industry and other interested parties an opportunity to discuss ways to combat office supply fraud more effectively. A notice announcing the workshop will be published in the Federal Register shortly.
"Despite years of law enforcement sweeps and business education efforts, office supply fraud continues to victimize small businesses, nonprofit organizations and large corporations," said J. Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "With industry estimates that office supply fraud costs victims approximately $200 million a year, the workshop will serve as a brainstorming session to discuss what more can be done to stop this fraud - through law enforcement, consumer education, and industry self-help."
The workshop is intended to facilitate a discussion among office and cleaning supply industry associations and their members, business groups and advocates, law enforcement authorities, and small business representatives. The discussion will focus on how legitimate and fraudulent companies differ in their marketing techniques, the current business practices of office and cleaning supply telemarketers, the use of fulfillment companies, the prevalence of office and cleaning suppliers who telemarket, and the ways small businesses and nonprofit organizations buy supplies. Some of the topics to be addressed at the workshop include:
The workshop will be open to the general public. It will be held on Novenber 8, 2001, at the main FTC building, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, in Room 432, from 8:15 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice announcing the public workshop was 5-0.
Copies of the news release and the Federal Register notice 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.
(FTC Matter No. PO 14206)