USA: FTC issues report on consumer matters during COVID-19 pandemic
The Federal Trade Commission ('FTC') issued, on 19 April 2021, a report dealing with issues related to the efforts to protect consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic related to fraud, privacy, and other consumer issues using sophisticated targeting, aggressive law enforcement, partnership, and outreach. Specifically, the report outlines that, among other things, the FTC:
- filed 13 enforcement actions against companies that failed to deliver personal protective equipment or made deceptive health treatment or earnings claims;
- ordered more than 350 companies to remove deceptive claims related to COVID-19 matters;
- prioritised privacy enforcement actions addressing the types of conduct that have been exacerbated in the transformation to digital work and schooling;
- collected and tracked more than 436,000 reports associated with COVID-19 in which consumers reported $399 million in fraud losses; and
- issued more than 100 consumer and business alerts on COVID-19 related topics.