The FTC has redesigned its
Complaint Assistant, the
online tool to help people submit their complaints securely to Sentinel and get
FTC education resources in response to their concerns. The smarter layout and enhanced
navigation simplifies and speeds the process of filing a complaint.
Law enforcement personnel from the
Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FTC, Department of
Health and Human Services, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Secret
Service recently attended training sessions on using Sentinel to investigate
scams related to the Affordable Care Act. The Sentinel team also led sessions with the
Internal Revenue Service and a government delegation from Nigeria.
Sentinel now includes
information from the FTC’s Criminal Liaison Unit (CLU). The FTC can share with
criminal law enforcement agencies the evidence it gathers for civil law
enforcement actions, including bank, wire, mail, and access device frauds,
computer crimes, and money laundering. The Sentinel CLU page gives you access
to documents from these cases: criminal complaints, indictments, and often,
descriptions of agents’ investigative work. Search them by scheme or document
type, charge, defendant name, jurisdiction, date, prior criminal cases in your
district or circuit, and ongoing schemes. To get there: Click For Criminal Law Enforcement. To learn
more about working with CLU, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2012, Sentinel collected more than 62,000 complaints from military
The FTC has brought charges against a medical discount scheme that scammed seniors across the country by offering phony discounts on
prescription drugs and pretending to be affiliated with Medicare, Social
Security, or medical insurance providers. The FTC alleged that AFD Advisors,
LLC, and its affiliated companies in the U.S. and Canada, pitched a
prescription drug discount card to older consumers. Many victims were led to
believe they had to buy the card to continue receiving their Medicare, Social
Security, or medical insurance benefits. The defendants convinced people to
turn over their bank account numbers and used that information to debit money
from their accounts.
The FTC is grateful to the Canadian
Anti-Fraud Centre, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; the Centre of Operations
Linked to Telemarketing Fraud (Project COLT); Wisconsin Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Oregon Department of Justice; and
Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin for their valuable assistance with this
you see a headline one day, you can be sure a related scam will follow soon
after, right? Perhaps scammers are waiting for the federal Health Insurance
Marketplace to be up and running before they start prowling, calling, emailing,
sending letters and texts – generally doing what they can to try to get
people’s money and personal and financial information. Sentinel has gotten some
health care-related complaints to date: here’s what those scams look like – and what you can tell people in
your community about them. But these complaints are likely to be more numerous
and more robust as the glitches are worked out, the Marketplace becomes fully
operational, and people are able to shop for policies.
During the Government
shutdown, the Consumer Sentinel Network did not capture or index new records,
so users would not have received new search results. The Sentinel team
recommends users conduct a manual search of their targets and topics for October
1 – October 16, 2013. Sentinel resumed conducting automatic searches
on October 17.
The FTC has signed a memorandum
of understanding (MOU) for voluntary cooperation with
two Nigerian agencies to increase cooperation and communication in joint efforts to
stamp out cross-border fraud. It is the first FTC MOU of this kind to include a
foreign criminal enforcement authority. One of the agencies addresses Nigerian consumer
complaints through investigations and enforcement; the other has criminal authority
to prosecute consumer fraud.
three federal offices
- four state agencies
in Illinois and Colorado and
- five police
departments in Alabama, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
The U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services now provides data including complaints about Medicare
impostors and identity theft.
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