FTC Blogs

Tidying up: Decluttering the COPPA FAQs

Maybe it’s the influence of that best-selling book on home organization or perhaps the silos of stuff in our makeshift home offices are becoming more noticeable. Either way, people are in a decluttering mood – and we are, too. Our recent project: updating and streamlining Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions, known as the COPPA FAQs. But not to worry. The revisions don’t raise new policy issues and our COPPA Rule review continues.

1, 2, 3 videos to help you stop unwanted calls

It can be frustrating to deal with a bunch of unwanted calls. If you answer them, you might hear a recorded message of someone trying to sell you something. Or it could be a real person hoping to scare you into paying a debt you don't owe.These kinds of unwanted calls are often scams. Taking steps to stop them can help save you time and unnecessary stress — and maybe some money, too.

Real deadlines and real consequences

Recently, Alimentation Couche-Tard and CrossAmerica Partners (collectively ACT) agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty to settle allegations that they violated a Commission divestiture order that was designed to prevent their merger from harming consumers.  A close read of the Commisson’s action in this case yields some timely advice for any company that is subject to a divestiture order.

Scammy PPE sellers exploit COVID-19 fears

Last month, the FTC filed its first case against an online seller that failed to ship next-day personal protective equipment (PPE) as promised. Today, we have an update: the FTC is filing three more cases as part of a continuing effort to address “online shopping” fraud that seeks to exploit high demand for PPE and other COVID-related products.

Going shopping? Don’t get shortchanged

Remember when stores ran out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and face masks? Well, now COVID-19 is cause for a new shortage: coins. Because of business shutdowns and social distancing, people have been spending cash at stores or restaurants at record low levels. Adding to the shortage, the U.S. Mint has slowed down coin production for a few months to keep employees safe from COVID-19. Now, some businesses are running low on coins and not offering change.

Empowering military consumers – all year long

Now that Military Consumer Month has come to a close, it’s time to think about how we can support servicemembers all year long. Seven years ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched Military Consumer Protection Day to highlight fraud affecting servicemembers. Since then, the observance has grown into a national, year-round campaign. Militaryconsumer.gov provides servicemembers and their families with resources from partner agencies like Department of Defense (DoD), the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to boost their financial readiness.

Protecting small businesses seeking financing during the pandemic

Small businesses are a critical part of the U.S. economy, providing opportunity and employment to consumers across the country. Unfortunately, the current health crisis has brought financial strain to small businesses and their ability to secure the financing they need to survive. So now more than ever, struggling businesses and their owners need protection from deceptive and unfair practices. And the FTC is working swiftly to provide it.