Today, the Toronto Strategic Partnership, of which the Federal Trade Commission is a member, released a paper summarizing the joint law enforcement initiatives undertaken in the last seven years to combat cross-border telemarketing fraud and other mass-marketing fraud. Through their combined efforts, the Partnership has shut down cross-border operations that defrauded nearly two million U.S. and Canadian consumers of more than $380 million.
In 2000, the Partnership was formed to enhance cooperation and coordination by civil and criminal law enforcement agencies targeting cross-border con artists. The Partnership’s significant accomplishments include:
One component of the Partnership, the Toronto Police Service Fraud Squad’s Mass Marketing Unit, is staffed on assignment from different Partnership agencies. “From the inception of the Partnership, the fraud squad has closed boiler rooms, conducted searches, arrested malefactors, and assisted in prosecutions. At least 644 people have been arrested, and 495 search warrants have been executed. Dozens of boiler rooms also have been closed, and tens of thousands of dollars have been returned to victims,” the paper notes.
The Partnership consists of law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. Its primary focus has been fraud emanating from the Province of Ontario. There are several other similar partnerships operating in other parts of Canada.
The paper covers activities from the formation of the Partnership through September 2007. In addition to the FTC, the Partnership is composed of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Competition Bureau of Canada, the Toronto Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Ministry of Government Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading.
This release is available electronically from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.