The Honorable Michael G. Oxley
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Enclosed is the annual report required to be submitted to Congress, pursuant to Section 526(b) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6826(b).
By direction of the Commission.
This report is submitted in accordance with the reporting provision of Section 526(b) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C.§ 6826(b) (1999). Section 526(b) requires that the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General(1) submit to Congress an annual report on the number and disposition of all enforcement actions taken pursuant to Title V, Subtitle B ("Fraudulent Access to Financial Information") of that Act.
Enforcement Actions Taken by the Federal Trade Commission
In June 2000, the Federal Trade Commission staff began a nonpublic investigation to test compliance with Section 521 of the recently enacted Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. That Section prohibits the use of fraudulent or deceptive means to obtain personal financial information, a practice commonly known as "pretexting." The investigation has surveyed businesses advertising their ability to locate personal financial information, including information relating to consumers' bank accounts and other financial assets.
The Commission staff has identified a number of companies for further investigation to determine whether they have engaged in violations of the Act. These investigations are ongoing, and to date none has resulted in formal law enforcement action. The investigations remain nonpublic.
In mid-January, the Commission plans to launch a consumer education campaign on pretexting and how consumers can protect their personal financial information. The campaign will include a private-public partnership to distribute the attached brochure and media outreach.
1. The Department of Justice is submitting its report separately.