It’s an unprecedented time. But even in the midst of monumental change, the FTC’s commitment to its consumer protection mission remains constant. Here’s a statement from Chairman Simons about the ongoing work of the Bureau of Consumer Protection:
“Federal Trade Commission staff in the Bureau of Consumer Protection remain hard at work protecting consumers from deceptive and unfair commercial practices. Despite the difficult circumstances, the FTC’s law enforcement, policy, and investigative work continues, and our dedicated professional staff are fully engaged in our mission to protect consumers.
We are working closely with federal and state law enforcers, and with other stakeholders, including consumer advocates and the business community, and are devoting significant resources to tackling scammers and unfair and deceptive business practices. We will not tolerate businesses seeking to take advantage of consumers’ concerns and fears regarding coronavirus disease, exigent circumstances, or financial distress. Information to educate consumers about emerging coronavirus scams, and what each of us can do, is available at ftc.gov/coronavirus. We encourage you to share these educational materials broadly to help protect those you love from scams. You can also help us by reporting such scams at ftc.gov/complaint. Reporting these scams to the FTC not only informs us, but also can help to protect your family, friends, and community.
In this time of national emergency with the pandemic putting enormous strain on all sectors of commerce, we are all doing our part. We recognize enormous challenges for consumers, as well as for businesses trying to get goods and services to people across the country. Over the next few weeks, the FTC will remain flexible and reasonable in enforcing compliance requirements that may hinder the provision of important goods and services to consumers. To be clear, by being flexible and reasonable, I am not suggesting that we will tolerate companies deceiving consumers, using tactics that violate well-established consumer protections, or taking unfair advantage of these uniquely challenging times. At all times, good faith efforts undertaken to provide needed goods and services to consumers will be taken into account in making enforcement decisions. The FTC is ready to assist businesses that may seek guidance about compliance obligations on consumer protection issues during this unprecedented time. If you seek guidance for your business, please email Business.firstname.lastname@example.org and FTC staff will respond to your inquiries as quickly as possible.”