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house Bill H.R. 6435

Should the Federal Trade Commission Lead Federal Agencies in Protecting Consumers Against COVID-19 Scams?

Argument in favor

COVID-19 scams and frauds are a major problem: since the beginning of the pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received nearly 250,000 reports of fraud. Consumers have lost over $182 million to COVID-19 scams and frauds, with a median fraud loss of $320. Clearly, there is a need for federal agencies, led by the FTC, to take a more proactive role in protecting consumers from COVID-19 scams and frauds.

jimK's Opinion
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11/18/2020
Yes, to every and all efforts to call out disinformation on Covid or any issue of national import that scammers can use to swindle people, to interfere with elections or to gain political influence by any and all people including any and all politicians and any or all high office holders in the federal government. Let’s get a national clearing house monitor in place to thwart the intentional lies, the half truths and the political expediency that uses publicly available resources to disinform the public. Inform and educate the public based on known and established facts that are being contradicted by the lies being told. Start with Covid and expand as you learn how to best provide this service.
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Frank-001's Opinion
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11/17/2020
Yes, the Federal Trade Commission should Lead Federal Agencies in Protecting Consumers Against COVID-19 Scams! That’s a No Brainer. What about Protecting All Americans from Trump’s Corona Virus Scams? First, came denial. Then came ”playing it down. ” Soon it was “It’ll be gone by the Spring. His boys badly bungled PPE distribution. Then came the ”use hydroxychloroquine!” hoax. Then came ”use bright light and bleach.” Then he promised to push science to "Warp Speed," but Medical Science and developing a vaccine Cannot be rushed! Now it's Herd Immunity. Let's all get sick, a few million will die, who cares. Keep the economy strong. He's had numerous Super Spreader Events. The poorly educated and the gullible came and they spread the virus. The president's current scam, "Herd Immunity," is "Just Do Nothing." That's the purest fraud of all! And now he's frustrated that he lost the election. He's claiming fraud. He's been perpetuating it on us all.
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JunnaLayn's Opinion
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11/18/2020
Yes! Protect us from the number one spreader of misinformation - the person bunkering up in the oval.
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Argument opposed

The FTC and Health and Human Services (HHS) websites already provide information to help consumers avoid COVID-19 scams, including dashboards detailing COVID-19 scam complaints by state and type. There is no need to put additional strain on the FTC and other federal agencies — which are already under strain due to the ongoing pandemic — by requiring them to do additional work to educate consumers about COVID-19 scams.

Ranaln's Opinion
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11/18/2020
No! Better stop the state governments from scamming the citizens into fear over a planned China virus, planned by most in state and federal government the media, democrats and the Chinese.
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J's Opinion
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11/17/2020
We have more important priorities. This is not one of them.
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Ryan 's Opinion
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11/17/2020
@ Leslie, spoken like a true Nazi! We will fight your Fourth Reich tooth and nail!
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What is House Bill H.R. 6435?

This bill — known as the Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020 — would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in consultation with the relevant agencies, to inform the public about mail, telemarketing, and internet scams related to COVID-19. It would also require the FTC to establish a national database for information about COVID-19 scams and to disseminate information about how to report COVID-19 scams to the appropriate agency.

Relevant agencies that the FTC would work with include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).

Impact

COVID-19 scams; Federal Trade Commission (FTC); Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS); United States Postal Service (USPS); and the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICCC).

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6435

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) introduced this bill to prevent scams during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“As the nation grapples with the COVID-19 response, bad actors are taking advantage of the pandemic by scamming or price gouging innocent Americans. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there have been nearly 8,500 reports of fraud or scams during the public health crisis. As businesses struggle, hardworking Americans lose their paychecks and Americans worry about the health of their families, it is abhorrent that scammers are preying on this vulnerable situation. It is also illegal. As federal agencies go after these criminals, I introduced this legislation today because it's necessary that the public is informed of the scams and price gouging so they can be avoided. The more Americans know about the scams, the easier it will be to protect themselves."

Original cosponsor Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) says:

“We are living in a time of stress and uncertainty, and as we combat the spread of COVID-19 in New Hampshire and across the U.S., we must also combat the spread of misinformation and scams. Unfortunately, some have seen this public health and economic crisis as an opportunity to take advantage of Americans – especially the most vulnerable among us. By providing critical information and resources to avoid COVID-19 scams, we can keep consumers safe and prevent bad actors from taking advantage of Americans during this national emergency.”

Original Republican cosponsor Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) adds:

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop, unfortunately bad actors have tried to use this public health crisis to prey on people through scams and price gouging. The Combating Pandemic Scams Act will ensure the public is aware of scams to better protect themselves and their loved ones.”

This bill passed the Committee on Energy and Commerce by voice vote with the support of five bipartisan cosponsors, including three Democrats and two Republicans.


Of NoteAs of November 16, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported 249,219 reports of COVID-19 frauds and scams. In the 48.9% of fraud reports in which a loss was reported, the median fraud loss was $320. In total, consumers reported $182.95 million in total losses. Consumers in all fifty states and Puerto Rico reported COVID-19 frauds and scams.

By volume, online shopping — mostly with regard to people ordering products that never arrive — is the top complaint category with 35,166 reports totaling $25.17 million in cumulative value. Vacation and travel complaints, mostly relating to refunds and cancellations, are second by volume, with 28,715 complaints. However, the total value of these complaints far exceeds that of online shopping complaints, clocking in at $53.19 million.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Kameleon007)

AKA

Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020

Official Title

Combating Pandemic Scams Act of 2020

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedApril 3rd, 2020
    Yes, to every and all efforts to call out disinformation on Covid or any issue of national import that scammers can use to swindle people, to interfere with elections or to gain political influence by any and all people including any and all politicians and any or all high office holders in the federal government. Let’s get a national clearing house monitor in place to thwart the intentional lies, the half truths and the political expediency that uses publicly available resources to disinform the public. Inform and educate the public based on known and established facts that are being contradicted by the lies being told. Start with Covid and expand as you learn how to best provide this service.
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    No! Better stop the state governments from scamming the citizens into fear over a planned China virus, planned by most in state and federal government the media, democrats and the Chinese.
    Like (6)
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    Yes! Good place to start is anti-maskers & anti-vaxers!
    Like (24)
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    Yes, the Federal Trade Commission should Lead Federal Agencies in Protecting Consumers Against COVID-19 Scams! That’s a No Brainer. What about Protecting All Americans from Trump’s Corona Virus Scams? First, came denial. Then came ”playing it down. ” Soon it was “It’ll be gone by the Spring. His boys badly bungled PPE distribution. Then came the ”use hydroxychloroquine!” hoax. Then came ”use bright light and bleach.” Then he promised to push science to "Warp Speed," but Medical Science and developing a vaccine Cannot be rushed! Now it's Herd Immunity. Let's all get sick, a few million will die, who cares. Keep the economy strong. He's had numerous Super Spreader Events. The poorly educated and the gullible came and they spread the virus. The president's current scam, "Herd Immunity," is "Just Do Nothing." That's the purest fraud of all! And now he's frustrated that he lost the election. He's claiming fraud. He's been perpetuating it on us all.
    Like (17)
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    Yes! Protect us from the number one spreader of misinformation - the person bunkering up in the oval.
    Like (12)
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    Yes, the Federal Trade Commission should protect us from all snake oil salesmen peddling their unproven, potentially dangerous cures for COVID-19. I know of someone who first peddled hydroxychloriquine (an unproven dangerous drug that he happened to own stock in) and then actually suggested that injecting disinfects directly into the body might work. Perhaps you can do something about this man? No one else seems to be able/willing to give him any consequences!
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    Hey Cruz, the ONLY ‘Complete Ass’ IS YOU, you 💩‼️. 🖕.
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    Start with the current president and his administration
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    Yea, like the ones being committed by corrupt politicians... Questions like the one asked in the recent Forbes Asking why the top 50 Richest Places In America were Allocated $350 Million “Coronavirus” Bailout Within HEROES Act? Americans can’t feed their families, pay their mortgages, or even visit their extended families... all while Nancy Pelosi refuses to discuss any stimulus package that isn’t what she PERSONALLY wants. The quote: Let Them Eat Cake [and icecream] will soon be trending among everyday Americans. Our Democratic leadership doesn’t have the balls to stand up to her. She is as big of a bully as Trump. Politicians are being controlled by lobbyists, so I see no reason why politicians (who are elected LEADERS) should not face the same penalties and be challenged to lead by example.
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    Bravo....Jimk
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    It's usually the responsibility of the FTC to fight scams such as these, and there are clearly a lot of scams about COVID-19 out there: from useless drugs and supplements to lies about the effectiveness of masks and other devices. We need to spend more time protecting consumers and less time allowing predators to capitalize on fear.
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    It’s another scam Ted Cruz is an ass he’s trying to call other people in the ass when he is the biggest ass in Texas. He sat there and let Donald Trump when he and his family into the ground and did nothing but suck up to him it’s sickening Ted Cruz is an ass a loser and a wuss!
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    It would be nice to see anything done FOR the people by a current government agency.
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    If protecting citizens from scams isn’t part of their duties, they really should reassess their mission.
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    @ Leslie, spoken like a true Nazi! We will fight your Fourth Reich tooth and nail!
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    We have more important priorities. This is not one of them.
    Like (4)
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    If my information is correct, the FTC is already monitoring these scams and publishing this information. This is Buddy Carter’s ( a Georgia trumplican) attempt to appear concerned about his constituents and the American people! He wants the people of GA, who will decide the dominant party in the Senate in Jan., to think trumplicans will have their backs. Too little, too late!
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    Without leadership from the top, these agency can not make a ruling. The leadership makes a mockery of good advice. So until we quit being the Joke of the world, nothing will work.
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    From what I understand, the FTC is and has already taken on this role. It would help if this bill was specific on what else is expected.
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    If trump is promoting herd immunity, the he should be shared with at least manslaughter. That’s with all due respect!
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