FOR THE CONSUMER
The FTC's monthly newsletter for the Congressional community
It's the news you - and your constituents - can use.
Volume 6 - Number 6
IN THIS ISSUE
GET WITH THE PROGRAM. A federal district court has ordered John Stefanchik to pay over $17 million to consumers for lying about how much they could make if they bought and followed the "Stefanchik program." Stephanchik claimed consumers could make as much as $10,000 every 30 days using the program, a collection of seminars, workshops, video tapes, audio tapes, and personal coaches, which purported to teach how to buy and sell privately held mortgages. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/05/stefanchik.shtm
REAL ESTATE AND COMPETITION. The FTC and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have issued a joint report to inform consumers about important competition issues involving residential real estate, including the impact of the Internet, the competitive structure of the real estate brokerage industry, and obstacles to a more competitive environment. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/05/realestate.shtm
SCHOLAR SCAM. The FTC, DOJ, and the Department of Education (ED) have issued their annual report to Congress, which describes their continued efforts to combat scholarship and financial aid fraud. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/05/collegescholarshipfraudrpt.shtm
GAS PRICES. In testimony before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, FTC Commissioner William Kovacic detailed the Commission's varied initiatives to protect competitive markets in the production, distribution, and sale of gasoline and other petroleum products. According to the testimony, most of the recent increase in gasoline prices can be attributed to refinery outages, increased demand for gasoline, and decreased gasoline imports. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/05/gaspricetestimony.shtm
GREEN LIGHTS & RED FLAGS. The FTC and its partners will present a “back-to-basics” workshop about complying with truth-in-advertising laws. "Green Lights & Red Flags: FTC Rules of the Road for Advertisers and Direct Marketers" features national experts discussing the latest developments in advertising law for business owners, marketing executives, and in-house counsel. “Green Lights” takes place Friday, June 15th from 9:30 am to 3:15 pm at the Park Plaza Hotel, Boston. The admission fee of $109 ($79 for Direct Marketing Association members) includes lunch and a CD of all workshop materials. Seating is limited; register early at www.ftc.gov/greenlights.
SPAM SUMMIT. The FTC will host a public “Spam Summit” July 11--12, when experts will explore malicious spam, shifts in spamming incentives and tactics, strategies for protecting consumers and businesses, and countermeasures for stopping malicious spammers and cybercriminals. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. A live webcast of the workshops will run on www.ftc.gov. For more information on attending the conference or submitting a written comment, visit www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/04/spamsummit.shtm.
DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES. The FTC will host a workshop October 10--11 to examine how changes in the debt collection industry have affected consumers and businesses. Consumer advocates, industry representatives, and regulators will discuss how technology and economic trends have changed how consumer debts are collected, and the extent to which the law has kept pace with developments during the past 30 years. The workshop is free and open to the public; it will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/03/fdcpawkshop.htm.
BUYING A HOME. IT’S A BIG DEAL. Explains the differences between real estate brokers and agents, describes how sales commissions work, and provides questions to ask when interviewing real estate professionals. 8.5"x11", 2 pages. www.ftc.gov/bc/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/zalt001.shtm
PAYING FINAL RESPECTS: YOUR RIGHTS WHEN BUYING FUNERAL GOODS AND SERVICES. Explains the Funeral Rule in brief. 8.5"x11", 6 pages. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro26.shtm
SLIP SHOWING? FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES BUSINESSES TO TRUNCATE CREDIT CARD INFORMATION ON RECEIPTS. Explains a provision of the FACT Act requiring companies to truncate account information on electronic credit or debit card receipts they give their customers. 8.5"x11", 2 pages. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/alerts/alt007shtm
ALASKA NATIVE ART. Provides tips for identifying and buying genuine Alaska native arts and crafts. 3.75”x8.5”, 8 panels, color. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro05.shtm
Whether you’re buying a refrigerator, thinking about ways to reduce your home heating and cooling bills, or trying to save money on gas, the FTC has important information that can save you money in every room of your home. The FTC’s energy savings website gives you the inside story on conserving cash and energy. For room-by-room tips, visit www.ftc.gov/energysavings.
FTC'S OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS: 202-326-2195.
Check out the CONGRESSIONAL RESOURCES portion of our website at
www.ftc.gov/ftc/congress.htm. No password needed to access.
ORDERING FTC's FREE CONSUMER INFORMATION
-- For one to 49 copies of FTC publications, call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
-- For 50 or more copies of publications, visit www.ftc.gov/bulkorder
To file a fraud complaint, visit www.ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter:
-- Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, Member or Committee affiliation, email address, and the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the body of the message.