With all the acronyms of our government agencies like the FBI, DOD, CIA, IRS, you may have overlooked some agencies and did not know about the Federal Trade Commission or FTC.
Unlike many of the agencies of the government who work to ensure that people are in keeping with the law, the Federal Trade Commission is on a mission to protect consumers and other businesses that run the capitalist economy.
So What Is The Federal Trade Commission?
As stated on FTC’s website, the agency was built in 1914 to safeguard consumers “by stopping unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace”. To do this, they are legally obligated to probe anomalies in the marketplace, launch investigations, and check all complaints that might be disenfranchising consumers.
In addition to that, the Federal Trade Commission gives the consumers access to tools, resources, and protections enabling them to combat themselves from unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent acts of businesses and other entities.
How Does The FTC Do Its Job?
As an agency, the FTC is the oversight for all businesses and trade partnerships that engage within the US economy.
They generally monitor businesses and can inquire into any trading policies, companies, and other entities if there is suspicion of unfair and fraudulent practices. The purview of FTC has gotten broader over the years that a company involved in any of its investigations needs a competent FTC defense team. According to FTC lawyers at Oberheiden P.C, the dynamic trading practices of the modern world constantly shift the goalposts of both the FTC and companies or individuals under its scrutiny. That’s why experienced federal counsel is a must when facing legal battles with the FTC.
To better safeguard the rights of consumers, the FTC is subdivided into three bureaus:
- The Bureau of Competition oversees unfair mergers and other anti-competitive practices
- The Bureau of Consumer Protection protects consumers from unfair, fraudulent, and deceptive practices.
- The Bureau of Economics checks the impact of the FTC’s actions and regulations on the US economy.
These three work hand in hand to enforce consumer protection and antitrust laws. The agency can impose sanctions on entities that crossed these laws and pay their obligations to consumers affected.
Part of the consumer protection laws that the FTC wants companies to comply with is taking extra care of their consumers’ data, be it on hard copy and especially on their websites. To keep this in check, most companies need cybersecurity gurus to ensure that they have a healthy online platform free of bugs and leeches that can compromise their consumers’ data.
The Federal Trade Commission can also create and enforce trade regulations relating to unfair, fraudulent, and deceptive practices and make recommendations to Congress on the subject.
How Can The FTC Help You?
FTC has set up several ways to ensure that they are within reach by consumers and heighten their oversight of both local and foreign businesses trading in the US economy.
Robocalls are the new-age technique of marketing where companies use auto-dialers to call thousands of individuals at an incredibly low cost and can use this as a medium to hide unlawful acts. The FTC has established the National Do Not Call Registry where you can register if you don’t like to receive telemarketing calls.
You can also submit reports and complaints on their ReportFraud.ftc.gov website if you think the company that you are dealing with is scamming or duping you and others. The process only takes about 2 to 3 minutes, and you can do it even on your phone.
If a company has sold you defective products or no-products at all, you can get a refund provided that the company has undergone litigation and the court confirms that it delivered compromised goods. You will get your check mailed to you directly by the FTC as long as you are on the list of consumers that the company has furnished to the agency.
If you need your credit report from any of the three major consumer credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, you can do so without paying a cent. This is ensured by the FTC under the Fair Credit reporting act which entitles all consumers of a free copy of their credit reports.
The FTC also provides a handful of resources to the consumers to become wise and watchful buyers. From tips and tricks on how to manage your money better, be in control of your credit, loans, and debt and identify scams and guard yourself against identity theft MO’s.
Does The FTC Do Anything For Businesses?
Even when the Federal Trade Commission regulates businesses all over the country and even companies overseas that trade in our economy, the agency is committed to helping small businesses flourish.
The FTC has workshops and issues publications that can help small business owners protect their livelihood and guide them to become shrewd entrepreneurs. It also gives them the dos and don’ts of the trade and how to protect their business from scams and fraudulent investors. It also gives them updates on the latest cybersecurity breaches to help them better understand their online presence and keep their consumers’ data and welfare safe.
The Federal Trade Commission is an agency that looks out for the people, the individuals that give life and fuel to the economy. It recognizes the fact that when consumers’ rights and interests are not taken care of, sooner or later the economy will suffer and would bring down the future of the country in terms of commerce and livelihoods. That’s why the agency has placed and enforced laws and regulations and monitoring systems that would stop any business from exploiting its consumers and vice versa.
Moreover, because of its dedication to giving individuals their chance for a more fruitful life, it has also opened its doors and offered its resources to small businesses that are very vulnerable to the vultures of scams, fraudulent practices, and deceptive acts. The Federal Trade Commission is truly a “for the people” agency that lives up to the forefathers’ vision of this country.