Antitrust Law Daily President Trump signs bill requiring the FTC to report on pandemic scams
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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

President Trump signs bill requiring the FTC to report on pandemic scams

By Jody Coultas, J.D.

Since the start of the pandemic, federal law enforcement has opened hundreds of investigations and filed dozens of criminal and civil cases.

The "Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020" (H.R. 6435), signed into law today by President Trump, will require the FTC and other government agencies to develop and disseminate information to the public about scams related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The bill passed the House in November.

The Act requires the FTC, in conjunction with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Postmaster General, the Chief Postal Inspector, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center, to develop and disseminate information to the public about scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information should include details regarding mail, telemarketing, and Internet fraud and illegal robocalls related to COVID-19 that identifies the most common scams, and where and how to report instances of scams related to COVID-19, including instructions on how to file a complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency.

In addition, the FTC shall, in consultation with state law enforcement agencies, the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and other relevant Federal officials, establish a comprehensive national database, either within or separate from the Consumer Sentinel Network, that tracks instances of scams related to COVID-19.

"As the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop, unfortunately bad actors have tried to use this public health crisis to prey on people through scams and price gouging. The Combating Pandemic Scams Act will ensure the public is aware of scams to better protect themselves and their loved ones," said Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC).

"During these challenging times for our country, I have been deeply moved by Americans’ commitment to helping their neighbors through this crisis," said Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH). "Sadly, where many see an opportunity to lend a helping hand, others see a chance to make a quick buck by scamming unsuspecting victims. This bipartisan legislation will help to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and crack down on scams by keeping the American people informed of these devious efforts."

MainStory: TopStory Advertising ConsumerProtection FederalTradeCommissionNews GCNNews Covid19

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