Sentinel now can tell you whether Better Business Bureau
complaints have been resolved. If a business has responded to the BBB’s
satisfaction, BBB considers it “Administratively Closed.” “Resolved” means that
the consumer verified her satisfaction with the result; “Assumed Resolved”
indicates that a business has addressed the issue without consumer
verification. “Resolution Delayed” means a business has responded, but not
within the BBB’s timeframe.
years of Do Not Call enforcement, 105 cases have been brought; courts
have ordered $118 million in civil penalties.
The Sentinel team has been training users online and on
the road. During the last few months, the team demonstrated the benefits of
Sentinel to a gathering of Veteran Service Organizations at the American Legion
Headquarters and to attendees of ID360:
The Global Forum on Identity at the University of Texas. The team also has
trained users in the Texas Attorney General’s Austin office, Department of Homeland
Security staff focusing on immigration services fraud, and the U.S. Secret
Service’s Electronic Crimes Division on researching identity theft and Internet
fraud complaints. Online training sessions are available on a rolling basis; contact
firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The FTC and its partners
announced 191 actions to stop fraudulent
operations promising timeshare property resale services and travel-related
prizes. The actions include three FTC cases, 83 civil actions by 28 states, and
25 actions brought by law enforcers in 10 countries. More than 184 individuals
are facing criminal prosecution. Resellers lured timeshare owners into paying
hefty up-front fees claiming, falsely, that they had interested buyers ready to
pay top dollar for the properties. But there were no buyers, and property
owners lost hundreds and thousands of dollars. The FTC also has updated tips on
travel planning and a new
infographic explaining how a timeshare resale scam
Investors Corporation has agreed to pay a
record $7.5 million to settle charges that its telemarketers called more
than 5.4 million U.S. servicemembers and veterans whose phone numbers were on
Do Not Call Registry. According to the FTC, the telemarketers pretended to
be affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and pitched
low-interest, fixed-rate mortgages at no cost. In reality, they offered
only adjustable-rate mortgages with payments that would rise as interest rates
increase. A new
infographic marks the milestones in the Registry’s 10-year history.
The FTC has sued to shut
down an operation that allegedly took in millions of dollars by cramming unauthorized
charges on people's mobile phone bills. The complaint
against Wise Media,
LLC, Brian M. Buckley and Winston J. Deloney is the first FTC case against
mobile cramming. According to the FTC, the defendants allegedly billed mobile
users – without their permission – $9.99 per month for so-called “premium
services.” The FTC’s complaint asked the court to freeze the defendants’ assets
immediately and order a stop to their deceptive and unfair practices.
A statistical survey
of fraud in the United States during 2011 showed that an estimated 25.6
million adults – 10.8 percent of the adult population – were victims. While
online shopping offers greater choice and convenience, the FTC survey indicates
that, as of 2011, buyers also were most likely to hear about fraudulent offers
on the internet. An estimated 17.3 percent of African-Americans and 13.4
percent of Hispanics were victims; among non-Hispanic whites, 9 percent were
Attorneys General of Louisiana and Maine now contribute their complaint data to
Sentinel, bringing the number of state data contributors to 16. Sentinel also
has 15 new members from 10 states – 10 are police or sheriff’s departments. Among
them are a federal agency, a city attorney, and the Attorney General of Guam.
Share any of FTC’s free resources and tips in your programs, on your website, and with your social networks.
Order free FTC materials at ftc.gov/bulkorder.