Everyone knows that The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. But did you know that The AG’s team is a partner’s dream, deep in the heart of Texas?
That’s the tune we’re humming to honor our colleagues at the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Texas Attorney General – recipients of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Partner Award. The Award recognizes their extraordinary contribution to our shared mission to fight fraud and deception in the marketplace.
The list of collaborative projects is long, so here are some highlights:
- Working Together to Protect Texas Consumers. The Consumer Protection Division of the AG’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, and the FTC collaborated on a Common Ground conference that brought together state and federal civil, criminal and regulatory enforcement agencies to discuss how we can work effectively to address issues of concern to consumers. Just some of the topics discussed at the August event: fraud targeting older people, illegal notario scams, deceptive diploma mills, and threats to the security of personal information.
- Operation Tech Trap. The Consumer Protection Division contributed two cases to a national sweep against tech support scams that trick consumers into believing their computers are infected with viruses and malware, and then charge them for unnecessary repairs. The Texas actions challenged the practices of PC Cleaner, Inc., and a company called (we kid you not) Fix My Computer Dude.
- Operation Game of Loans. The Consumer Protection Division was a leader in joint federal-state crackdown against allegedly deceptive student loan debt relief claims, including an action filed against Student Loan Relief, LLC and related parties. According to the pending complaint, the defendants violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act and the Texas Finance Code.
- Military Consumer Financial Workshop: Protecting Those Who Protect Our Nation. With close to 175,000 active duty and reserve military personnel stationed in Texas, protecting military consumers is an important shared priority. The Consumer Protection Division participated at a July 2017 FTC workshop in San Antonio that examined financial issues and scams that affect service members, veterans, and their families.
- Hurricane Relief. In the face of Hurricane Harvey, the Consumer Protection Division quickly mobilized to help Texans raise their defenses against scammers seeking to exploit the disaster for financial gain. Among many efforts is an upcoming webinar with the FTC, Fighting Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft After Hurricane Emergencies.
To our colleagues in the Consumer Protection Division, we’re proud to partner (pardner?) with you to further our shared mission to protect consumers from fraud and deception.