FOR THE CONSUMER
The FTC's monthly newsletter for the Congressional community
It's the news you—and your constituents—can use.
Volume 3– Number 1
IN THIS ISSUE
AND THE WINNER IS.....FTC releases Top 10 consumer complaint categories in 2003. ID theft continues to top list, while internet related fraud grows. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/01/top10.shtm
ADVANCING AGAINST ADVANCE FEES. FTC cracks down on alleged credit card scam where companies misrepresented that consumers were likely to get a major unsecured credit card, like Visa or Mastercard, in exchange for an advance fee. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/01/ccscams.shtm
THROW THE BOOK AT 'EM. Court shuts down a cross border charity scam that solicited book donations for hospitalized children. FTC alleged that the books were either never delivered to hospitals or that children never received them.
Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/12/dpspublishing.shtm
MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN. Court bars Canadian company from misleading consumers in marketing of Internet domain name services. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/12/domainreg.shtm
GET NOTICED. Federal regulators seek public comment on how to improve privacy notices. Comments due by March 29, 2004. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/12/privnoticesjoint.htm
Federal Register Notice: www.ftc.gov/os/2003/12/031223anprfinalglbnotices.pdf
National Consumer Protection Week is February 1-7. This year's focus is on financial literacy and practical steps to better manage personal finances and take control of fiscal well-being. NCPW partners have pooled resources offering materials on credit, money management, saving and investing, home ownership, insurance and retirement planning. An outreach toolkit is available online with materials to help you promote NCPW. Download buttons, banner ads, a sample newsletter article, and more at: www.consumer.gov/ncpw/
NEW CONSUMER EDUCATION
BOTNETS AND HACKERS AND SPAM (OH, MY!) Explains botnets and the steps consumers can take to avoid having their computer invaded by hackers and spammers. Download at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt132.shtm
TIP OF THE MONTH
Are you thinking of buying jewelry for yourself or your sweetheart? The FTC has a few pointers to help you prepare for your jewelry purchase:
1. Know the difference between 14 karat gold and gold-plated jewelry. Unlike 14 karat gold, gold plating will eventually wear away.
2. When purchasing a watch, ask if there is a warranty on it, what it covers, and how long it lasts. You also may want to ask how and where your watch could be serviced or repaired.
3. Know the criteria for evaluating diamonds - cut, color, clarity, and weight. Each factor affects the price.
For more tips, see: BELOVED...BEJEWELED...BE CAREFUL. WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY
NUMBERS TO KNOW
FTC'S OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS: 202-326-2195.
Check out the CONGRESSIONAL RESOURCES portion of our Web site at www.ftc.gov/ftc/congress.shtm No password needed to access.
To order free FTC consumer information, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, Member or Committee affiliation, and mailing address.
To file a fraud complaint, go to www.ftc.gov or call FTC's toll-free line 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
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