Network News - March 2016

March 2016
Volume 9 | Issue 1
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network news enhancements

The FTC has launched the revamped, interactive New features provide consumers with free personal recovery plans tailored to their individual identity theft circumstances, step-by-step guidance, and pre-filled letters and forms to send to creditors, credit reporting agencies, debt collectors, and the IRS. The site provides recovery steps for more than 30 types of identity theft and is available in Spanish at Watch the new video to learn more.

Coming soon: Free webinars

The FTC will be offering free webinars for Consumer Sentinel members, focused on how can help victims and law enforcement. Keep an eye out for emails announcing webinar dates and registration information. If you would like a webinar just for your organization, email


Identity theft complaints to Consumer Sentinel reached 490,220 in 2015, up from 332,647 in 2014, and 290,102 in 2013.

According to the Department of Justice’s most recent statistics, identity theft affected an estimated 17.6 million people in 2014, or 7% of all United States residents over the age of 16. A win, win, win for first responders

The White House cited as a key tool for empowering victims in its new Cybersecurity National Action Plan. Not only does give you the tools to help victims, but it also can help you build investigations and support community relations. First, many identity theft victims need a police report to get fraudulent information removed from their accounts, or enforce other rights. guides them to gather the information and documents that officers need to create police reports efficiently. Second, with the victim’s complaint in Sentinel, you and other law enforcers nationwide can access it to discover trends, locate additional victims, and uncover evidence. Finally, is a helpful resource to include in education initiatives held at community meetings, church gatherings, and other local venues. Get tools you can use to help make your event a success. Order free identity theft educational materials to distribute at events or in a station house. Link to and from your organization’s site or share tips with your online social networks.

“Local law enforcement is often the first place identity theft victims turn for help. will be a powerful tool to help police assist victims, and the information victims report to the FTC can help law enforcers build cases.”

- Mary Gavin, Chief of Police for Falls Church, VA
  Member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police

Sentinel improvements

As you may know, we’re rolling out several changes to Consumer Sentinel over the next 18 months. You may even have caught a preview at a Sentinel 3.0 Town hall, where we got lots of helpful feedback – and we’re always looking for more. Would you like to be a beta tester or participate in a user experience working group? If you have not already volunteered for one, and would like to, email

FTC sues DeVry

The FTC filed a complaint against DeVry University for allegedly misrepresenting graduates’ prospects of getting well-paid jobs in their fields. According to the FTC, DeVry stretched the truth by claiming that 90% of their graduates who were actively seeking employment landed new jobs in their field of study within six months of graduation. DeVry also claimed that one year after graduation, the average earnings of DeVry graduates with bachelor degrees were 15% higher than the earnings of graduates from all other colleges and universities. The FTC says that DeVry used unreliable data that does not back up its claims.

Inspection Deception

General Motors Company, Jim Koons Management Company, and Lithia Motors agreed to settle FTC charges that they deceptively marketed their used cars when they made claims about their comprehensive car inspections. According to the FTC, many of the cars advertised as having undergone thorough inspections still had open recalls for safety-related defects, including recalls for defective ignition switches — a fact the sellers didn’t make clear to prospective buyers. The settlement says the companies must stop making deceptive claims about their safety practices, and also must notify recent customers who bought a used car subject to a recall.


Sentinel welcomes:

  • FBI’s Civil Division Fraud Section
  • sheriff and police departments in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and South Carolina
  • law enforcement authorities in Italy, the Netherlands, Philippines, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom


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

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