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Event Description

Join the Federal Trade Commission; Wisconsin Department of Justice; Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; legal services attorneys and other consumer advocates; and state and federal consumer protection officials at this free event to discuss a variety of issues facing Midwest consumers today.  Learn about emerging trends and new and existing challenges.  Explore ways to collaborate and share information and resources.  Discussions will include recent consumer fraud trends, frauds that impact various communities, including seniors and students, Internet scams, and debt collection.

Preregistration Notice

The 2016 Midwest Common Ground Conference is open to invited participants and the public.  There is no fee to attend.  The FTC will accept pre-registration for this conference.  Pre-registration is not necessary to attend, but is encouraged so that we may better plan this event.  To pre-register, please e-mail your name, affiliation, and your e-mail address to  A detailed agenda and additional information about the conference will be e-mailed to attendees.

When you pre-register, we collect your name, affiliation, and your e-mail address.  We use the name and affiliation you have provided for conference administration purposes—to estimate how many people will attend, prepare nametags, and better understand the likely audience for the conference.  We may also use your e-mail address to contact you with information about the conference.


    8:30 - 9:00 am


    9:00 - 9:25 am

    Welcome and Opening Remarks

    9:25 - 9:45 amKeynote Address

    9:45 - 11:00 am

    Addressing Fraud in Every Community Through Law Enforcement and Education
    This panel will explore the types of frauds that target, or disproportionately impact, certain populations or communities.  The panel discussion will address the FTC’s recent report to Congress about combatting fraud in African-American and Latino communities, and will include discussion of efforts to address fraud impacting these communities and others.

    11:00 - 11:15 am


    11:15 - 12:15 pm

    Frauds Impacting Older Adults
    This panel will discuss particular frauds that target older adults, as well as education initiatives to reach and protect that population.

    12:15 - 1:25 pm

    Lunch - On Your Own

    1:25 - 1:45 pm

    Deceptive Marketing and Consumer Behavior:  A Study

    1:45 - 2:30pm

    Protecting Consumers in the Internet Age:  When Scams Go High-Tech
    This panel will explore the world of high-tech and Internet scams, including tech support scams, pop-up advertisements, negative option plans, website hijacking, and privacy and data security issues. 

    2:30 - 3:15 pm“So You’re Off to College?”:  Consumer Protection Issues That Impact Students
    This panel will address for-profit schools, student loans, financial literacy, and other issues affecting students.  Education and law enforcement efforts will be highlighted.

    3:15 - 3:30 pm

    3:30 - 4:15 pmPay Up or Else!”:  Ongoing Debt Collection Issues
    This panel will cover the latest and ongoing issues involving debt collection, including the proposed CFPB debt collection rules and the private collection of government debt, as well as recent enforcement efforts against phantom and other debt collectors.

    4:15 - 5:00pm

    Short-Term Lending Issues
    This panel will explore a variety of current lending issues, including car title loans, payday loans, auto repossession, and other issues.

    5:00 - 5:10pm

    Wrap-up and Closing Remarks

    5:15 - 7:00pm

    Reception: TBA



FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register for events that require registration. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s Privacy Act system for public records and comprehensive privacy policy.

This event will be open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded.  By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.