Know the Consumer Protection Regulations
A department of the Federal Trade Commission is the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and its “mandate is to protect consumers against unfair, misleading, or fraudulent practices.” There are six division of the Bureau of Consumer Protection as follows:
Division of Advertising Practices: Consumers are protected from misleading or unsubstantiated advertising. The focus is on advertising of the following products: tobacco and alcohol, food and over-the-counter drugs, energy-related products, environmental products, and infomercials.
Division of Enforcement: Consumers are protected by enforcing compliance with court orders in consumer protection situations, investigating and prosecuting civil actions to stop fraudulent, unfair, or misleading marketing and advertising practices, and enforcing consumer protection laws.
The Division of Financial Practices: Many consumer credit statutes are enforced including the Consumer Leasing Act, the Credit Practices Rule, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Fair Credit Billing Act. The text of these laws can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website http://www.ftc.gov.
The Division of Marketing Practices: Enforces federal consumer protection laws by filing legal actions to stop scams and help victims of scams
The Division of Planning and Information: Measures the impact of FTC activities to protect consumers, including the Identity Theft Program.
The Office of Consumer and Business Education: Establishes public education programs for consumers and industry about fraud, deception, and unfair practices using print, broadcast, and electronic media.
It would be prudent for you or your attorney to visit the FTC’s website, read the regulations, and set up systems to be sure you are in and stay in compliance. If the FTC determines that you are violating any of its regulations, it has the authority to seize your assets pending investigation. If the FTC gets a court judgment against you, the fines are meaningful and the FTC could shut down your business.