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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