FTC Expands Fraud Prevention Program

Share this content:
The Federal Trade Commission expanded its fraud prevention program last week to give law enforcement agencies increased access to reports of consumer fraud.


More than 100 local Better Business Bureau offices, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the attorneys general from all states have agreed to contribute information to the FTC's Consumer Sentinel database. The database contains more than 250,000 complaints of consumer fraud that have been filed with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and private organizations, including the FTC; the BBBs; the National Consumer League's National Fraud Information Center and Internet Fraud Watch projects; and Canada's Project Phone Busters, an organization that targets telemarketing fraud.


More than 240 law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada can access the database through an encrypted Web site to determine whether a particular fraudulent scheme is local, national or cross-border in nature. It also will help agencies spot larger trends for law enforcement action.


"Cooperation is the key to law enforcement in the 21st century," said Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Consumer Sentinel facilitates interaction among law enforcers across North America, thereby serving a unique function on behalf of consumers."


Consumer Sentinel, which has been online for more than two years, provides a variety of tools to help law enforcement investigate fraud and ultimately prosecute illegal activity. In addition to the complaint database, Sentinel features include analysis of data to determine trends in fraud, an index of fraudulent telemarketing sales pitches available from the National Tape Library, a compilation of companies already sued for fraud, and a catalog of companies under investigation. In addition, Consumer Sentinel offers a contact list as well as how-to information to help agencies coordinate action. The complaints cover fraud and deception relating to telemarketing, direct mail and the Internet.


Chief Postal Inspector Kenneth C. Weaver said, "For years, the [U.S. Postal] Inspection Service has used our own Mail Fraud Complaint System to generate investigations and protect consumers. ... The combined strengths of enforcement agencies, however, sharing complaint information and working together, provides us with a knockout punch against fraud."

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above