This week the FTC highlighted its report on the prevalence of fraudulent business practices directed at older adults. It also announced that the Agency is seeking public comment on the existing Alternative Fuels Rule. More on these actions, as well as an update on student debt related actions, after the jump.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Older Adults

  • The FTC announced the issuance of its latest report to Congress, Protecting Older Consumers, 2022-2023, A Report of the Federal Trade Commission, which intends to help protect older adults from fraudulent business practices. The report found that older adults reported losing more than $1.6 billion to fraud in 2022, which the report breaks down into investment scams, business impersonation scams, and tech support scams. To help address future fraudulent activity, the report called on Congress to update the FTC Act in response to the Supreme Court’s 2021 ruling in the AMG Capital Management case, which limited the FTC’s ability to recover money that older adults and other consumers lose to scammers.

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Education

  • The FTC announced an order against Sollers College and its parent company, Sollers Inc., a for-profit school, resolving allegations that the companies lured prospective students to enroll by falsely touting their job-placement rates and that their relationships with prominent companies would lead to jobs after students graduate. According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants used their website, social media, and email campaigns to falsely advertise a number of pseudo-partnerships with prominent employers in the fields of information technology, clinical research, and drug safety. The stipulated order prohibits defendants from falsely advertising any educational product or service and requires that they cancel $3.4 million in student debt.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Energy

  • The FTC announced that it is seeking public comment on the potential impact of its Labeling Requirements for Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fueled Vehicles (AFVs) (also known as the Alternative Fuels Rule). The rule currently attempts to help consumers make more informed buying decisions by requiring informative labels on fuel dispensers for non-liquid alternative fuels, such as electricity, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen. In addition to general comments, the notice seeks comments on specific issues, such as labels for public electric vehicle charging stations. The FTC first published the Alternative Fuels Rule in 1995 as directed by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The Commission completed its most recent review of the rule 10 years ago, and as a result of that review, eliminated separate FTC labeling requirements for AFVs such as electric cars, and, in their place, incorporated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel economy labeling requirements into the rule. Comments must be received within 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. More information on filing a comment can be found in the published notice.