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 9
IN THIS ISSUE
CELL BLOCK. The FTC reminds consumers that the National Do Not Call Registry accepts cell phone numbers. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/12/dnc.shtm
FACT ACT FACTS. The FTC has issued a report on the results of studies required by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act). The report discusses the accuracy and completeness of consumer credit reports and four specific topics related to their accuracy. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/12/factarpt.shtm
CAN IT? The FTC has issued its final rule, defining what constitutes a commercial electronic message. If an email's primary purpose is commercial, it is subject to the provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act. Press release:
DO NOT CALL. The Telemarketing Sales Rule now requires telemarketers to check their lists for telephone numbers registered on the National Do Not Call Registry every 31 days, instead of quarterly. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/12/dnc31day.htm
NCPW. The FTC joins with a group of federal, state and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy groups to sponsor the seventh annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) from February 6-12, 2005. This year's theme is "Identity Theft: When Fact Becomes Fiction." The NCPW website, www.consumer.gov/ncpw, offers resources to download and use in consumer protection promotions all over the country. The free Outreach Toolkit has sample materials -- a press release, letter to the editor, poster, public service announcements and more -- to download for your own promotional activities. For more information visit: www.consumer.gov/ncpw or call Carol at (202) 326-3152.
URGE TO MERGE? The FTC will host a conference on January 14 in Washington, DC concerning the price effects of oil mergers in the U.S. petroleum industry. The conference, which will be held in the FTC Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, DC, is free and open to the public. Preregistration is not required. For more information: www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/12/oilmerge.htm
NEW & REVISEDCONSUMER EDUCATION
CHECK OVERPAYMENT SCAMS: SELLER BEWARE. Informs consumers about a scam where they could be asked to send money after receiving a fake check as payment for a sale or winnings in a lottery. www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/overpayalrt.shtm
ADVERTISEMENTS PROMISING DEBT RELIEF MAY BE OFFERING BANKRUPTCY. Urges consumers to use caution when reading ads pitching debt relief.
Q&A: THE NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY Questions and answers about the National Do Not Call Registry. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm
DEUDAS PRESCRIPTAS (Time-Barred Debts). Gives information on debt collection practices as they relate to debts that are past the statute of limitations (in Spanish.) www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/salt144.shtm
TIP OF THE MONTH - IDENTITY THEFT
Your rights if an identity thief strikes
Do you know what to do if you believe you're a victim of identity theft? The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you specific rights to remedy ID theft. If you believe you're the victim of identity theft, you have the right to:
- ask that nationwide consumer reporting agencies place a fraud alert in your files
- get free copies of the information in your files
- obtain documents relating to fraudulent transactions made or accounts opened using your personal information
- obtain information from a debt collector
If you believe that information in your file results from identity theft, you can:
- ask that a credit reporting agency block that information from your file and
- prevent other businesses from reporting that information about you
For more information on what action to take if an identity thief strikes, visit: www.consumer.gov/idtheft
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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