The Commission's remedial authority to deter unfair and deceptive conduct in privacy and data security matters #FTC-2018-0052-D-0003

Submission Number:
FTC-2018-0052-D-0003
Commenter:
Cynthia White
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
The Commission's remedial authority to deter unfair and deceptive conduct in privacy and data security matters
RE: Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Hearings, Project Number P181201 In light of our lightening fast technology progressions it is imperative that we (the FTC in this case) strive to do all they can to implement strategies for the prevention of and consequences for those violating such strategies to protect the Consumer. Last year, 2017, I was a victim of Identity Theft four (4) times. Four times! And that includes the Equifax breach, as well as, a case the FTC just recently settled, if I recall, on June 8, 2018, regarding Salar Tahour and the numerous corporations he used to extort $11,694,347.49 from student loan borrowers. He, and his employees, defrauded me out of $166.00 which I had to borrow. While I find the settlement of $2.3 million to be pennies on the dollar I wonder if the FTC went after Mr. Tahour's private property, e.g. personal homes and other possessions, so that those, too, could be liquidated and included in the funds to be distributed for refunds to those of us who were defrauded. I am listed in the Do NOT Call Registry and yet those people called. Just recently, on June 28, 2018, I received another voice message from someone who identified herself as "Sam". She proceeded to say, in a voice as if I had done business with her before and she had a personal relationship with me, that "it looks like I missed you. Your student loans are out of compliance by not telling me about the Forgiveness Program." I happen to be disabled and have filed paperwork with my loan servicer, who passed the information onto the Department of Education, to seek a discharge of my student loans due to my health status an inability to repay. The caller, Sam, continues to say "For compliance and eligibility, can you give me a call? Call me back please, 949-408-0006, so I can tell you what the Department of Education is offering you for your loans. Thank you and have a great day." Even though I have the AT&T app which catches most calls, and identifies them as Telemarketer, Suspected Scam, etc., and this call came in as a Telemarketer, many calls still get through. Regardless, my point is that this is but another entity attempting to defraud student loan borrowers, called consumers, of their hard earned money. Since last year, I am now held hostage to freely answer a phone number which I pay for. While the AT&T app is helpful there must be more done to protect our Consumers from the perils of thefts who prey on those of us who are just trying to be productive citizens and members of this great country we call the United States of America. There are many competitors around the world including China. If China could be reeled in perhaps the U.S. could catch a break. But, since they, along with Russia and Saudi Arabia continue to meddle in our operations the U.S. must implement programs to halt these nations from continuing to damage our progress. One area of assistance to the Consumer would be if the FTC mandated that all communication carriers, like AT&T, devise a program, or APP for smartphones, to assist the Consumer and recognize calls coming from entities who are defrauding and/scamming Consumers. This, of course, takes much villigance from the Consumer to report callers who are deceptive. In my opinion, Telemarketing should be outlawed as they are nusiances and have become abusive. We have huge Senior population who are preyed upon with a vengeance. This should not be allowed. Especially, in light of, since there are many who live alone and have no one to discuss such calls with. Certainly, I can not have all the answers, nor am I educated beyond a Bachelor's degree, to be able to think any higher than what I am articulating here. I just ask that the FTC come up with something to deter deceptive conduct in privacy and data security matters with the think tanks which are at your disposal. Thank you for allowing me this time.