ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS
This report is submitted in accordance with the reporting provision of Section 526(b) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6826(b) (1999). Section 526(b) requires that the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General(1) submit to Congress an annual report on the number and disposition of all enforcement actions taken pursuant to Title V, Subtitle B ("Fraudulent Access to Financial Information") of that Act.
Enforcement Actions Taken by the Federal Trade Commission
Since the last Report, the Federal Trade Commission filed law enforcement actions in four federal district courts against companies for, inter alia, violations of 15 U.S.C. § 6821. The complaints alleged that the defendants engaged in "pretexting" - obtaining a consumer's financial information by false pretenses. In each of these cases, the defendants were alleged to have procured the information from consumers themselves, by various misrepresentations and deceptions intended fraudulently to obtain those consumers' customer information of a financial institution. See FTC v. Assail, Inc., Civ.No. W03CA007 (W.D. Tex., preliminary injunction entered February 4, 2003)(obtaining consumers' bank account numbers through deception in connection with the sale of "advance-fee credit cards" to consumers nationwide); FTC v. Corporate Marketing Solutions, Inc., et al., CV02-1256 (D. Ariz., complaint filed July 8, 2002)(obtaining consumer financial information in connection with deceptive telemarketing of non-existent credit cards and other spurious goods and services); FTC v. Global Mortgage Funding, Inc., et al., SACV 02-1026 DOC (C.D. Calif., stipulated order of preliminary injunction entered November 27, 2002) (fraudulent acquisition of financial data from consumers by pretexting through deceptive e-mail ("spam")); FTC v. 30 Minute Mortgage Inc., No. 03-60021-CIV-FERGUSON (S.D. Fla., complaint filed January 9, 2003) (obtaining financial data from consumers through deceptive representation of status as a lender and false promises of low rates in e-mails and on websites).
Additionally, the Commission's law enforcement efforts are ongoing, including consumer and industry education.
1. The Department of Justice is submitting its report separately.