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We’re all facing unprecedented challenges now – and the FTC has been hard at work on the trail of many Coronavirus-related scams that are harming consumers. But the rest of the Commission’s work continues apace. For instance, last year the Commission returned more than $232 million in refunds to consumers across the country. Today, we’re taking a minute to take stock of some of the highlights from 2019.

Big win for consumers. In a large victory for consumers, The University of Phoenix agreed to pay $50 million in cash and cancel $141 million in debt owed to the school by students harmed by their deceptive ads. Phoenix’s ads touted job opportunities and relationships with top tech companies.

Breaking new ground. The Commission achieved some notable “firsts” in 2019. For instance, the FTC brought its first case to challenge fake paid reviews on an independent retail site and its first case against a VOIP service provider for a key role in promoting a deceptive scheme.

Order in the court. On the consumer protection front, the Commission obtained 19 administrative orders, 97 redress, disgorgement, and permanent injunctions, and 10 civil penalty matters.

Giving back. The Commission got back for consumers $232 million. The FTC’s redress program returned $136 million to 1.92 million consumers. That’s in addition to the $95.86 million in redress where the program is administered by others.

The news you can use. Lots of people look to the FTC to get the latest on consumer protection news. In fact, FTC videos online got 1.5 million views. The most popular video racked up more than 82,000 views: How to File a Complaint.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Tommy Dome
April 23, 2020
GREAT site and a GREAT government office. We often see where this or that US District Attorney takes a business to task and fines them a gazillion dollars for cheating the public, BUT the FTC actually trys to get the frauded money back to those that were taken advantage of, the money doesn't disappear into the bottomless pit of the "General Fund" Thanks FTC for giving the taxpayer their moneysworth.
April 23, 2020
I am so glad that in this world climate, you are the voice of reason
April 23, 2020
Thank you for all the work you do, I appreciate how you keep these companies honest. Keep it going!
April 23, 2020
At this time with the Pandemic of Covid-19, there are many bad people that pretend take advantages of others through the fraud of all type. All of us must be prepared for it. Contact this official organization (FTC) in order to take action with them. Thanks.
April 23, 2020

In reply to by pierremillet

I agree. These times bring out the worst people. With the FTC, crooked types who prey on the innocent and unsuspecting will be made to pay.
April 23, 2020
Great site
April 23, 2020
I like how this FTC site regularly keeps the public aware of scams and provides info on staying protected.
April 23, 2020
I sincerely appreciate this site and what FTC is doing during this crisis. Thank You!!
April 24, 2020
The FTC is a great government organization that has a sole purpose to protect all consumers in our own USA. The university of phoenix will hopefully not forget the huge $50 million dollar fine imposed upon them for deceptive tactics and manipulation by them towards consumers when this began sometime ago and now this teaches all of us the old saying that if it sounds too good to be true the it most likely is just that. I am a subscriber and its a watchdog that is for real backed by the federal government and how they take all complaints seriously and take action quickly and to sum this up ASAP.
April 25, 2020
Great work and news!!!