Consumer Protection

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the government agency assigned to protect the rights of consumers in the U.S. The Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP or the Bureau) is the department within the FTC that is in charge with protecting the public from unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business and commercial practices in the commerce industry. The FTC and the Bureau protect the interests of consumers through government regulations and specific laws designed to find and prosecute offenders, and by supplying information to consumers that will help them detect and elude fraud.

The functions Bureau include:

  • Provide free information to consumers to help them uncover and avoid fraud and deception
  • Increase consumer confidence through the enforcement of federal consumers protection laws
  • Protect consumers and help them exercise the rights granted to them by the FTC
  • Receive and collect information about consumer and internet fraud
  • Help consumers file a fraud or identity theft complaint

The BCP carries out investigations and forwards information to law enforcement agencies for the prosecution of violators. The agency brings lawsuits against those individuals and companies guilty of commercial fraud and/or deceptive business practices. The Bureau also helps develop and draw up laws and regulations to protect a consumer's rights and define illegal activities. It has established a database to collect consumers complaints and grievances about consumer fraud and identity theft that enforcement agencies across the country can access to build consumer protection court cases and prosecute offenders.

Even with all these protections for consumers and punishments for violators, consumers are constantly facing unscrupulous merchants, corrupt marketers, defective products, internet scams, and identity thieves. If you have been a victim of any deceptive commercial practice, you should contact a consumer protection lawyer as soon as possible to bring justice to your situation. Do not let crooked businesspersons get away with schemes, rackets, and larceny.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act ensures the accuracy and privacy of information kept by credit bureaus and consumer reporting agencies. It gives consumers the right to know what information credit bureaus and consumer reporting agencies are distributing about them to creditors, landlords, insurance companies, and employers. Education is a key tool in consumer protection safety. Consumers that are informed will be better prepared to meet the challenges they may face.

The Bureau is broken up into seven separate divisions:

  • Advertising Practices
  • Consumer and Business Education
  • Enforcement
  • Financial Practices
  • Marketing Practices
  • Planning & Information
  • Privacy and Identity Protection