Sunday, November 23, 2008

Your Federal Tax Dollars at Work: The FTC's Division of Marketing Practices

The Pacific Daily News' Agency protects consumers from marketing scams has a good description of the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Marketing Practices. The Division of Marketing Practices touches on many busienss and should be of great interest to all consumers.

"The FTC's Division of Marketing Practices responds quickly to the ever-changing world of fraudulent marketing practices. It enforces federal consumer protection laws by filing actions in federal district court on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission to stop scams, prevent scam artists from repeating fraudulent schemes, freeze assets, and obtain compensation for scam victims. The division also files administrative cases with the commission to stop these scams."

The division's enforcement priorities include:

  • Shutting down high-tech Internet and telephone scams.
  • Halting deceptive telemarketing or direct mail marketing schemes that use false and misleading information; and
  • Stopping pyramid schemes and other fraudulent investment scams.

    The division is also responsible for the issuance, revision and enforcement of many of the commission's rules, including:

  • The Telemarketing Sales Rule, which prohibits deceptive sales pitches and protects consumers from abusive, unwanted and late-night sales calls.
  • The 900 Number Rule, which requires sellers of pay-per-call services to clearly disclose the price of their services, prohibits the targeting of most of those services to children, and forbids unfair billing practices.
  • The Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule, which requires sellers of franchises and business opportunities to give prospective buyer a disclosure containing specific information about the business and any earnings claims that are made, to help them evaluate the value of the franchise.
  • The Funeral Rule, which requires funeral directors to disclose price and other information about their services to consumers.
  • The Magnuson-Moss Act, which requires merchants to make warranty information available to consumers before they make a purchase.

    The division is at the forefront of investigating the use of the Internet and new schemes to defraud consumers.