The FTC recently released its Annual Report on Refunds to Customers, and the amount of money refunded to consumers is a doozy – a whopping $2.3 BILLION! This is the money refunded to consumers and businesses who were harmed by illegal scams from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.
How is all of this possible? The Federal Trade Commission stops illegal practices by investigating and bringing law enforcement cases against companies and people who break the law. From there, the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Office of Claims and Refunds returns money to the consumers and businesses affected by these illegal actions.
These cases include the phone scams we help to stop. Through our PrivacyStar app, users can report fraudulent numbers, which we report directly to the FTC to be investigated. The FTC uses these reports as part of a large scale effort to stop the scam. For example, back in January of 2017, Western Union was charged for helping facilitate money transfer scams. They forfeited $586 million in the settlement with the FTC and Justice Department.
However, cases like these aren’t always easy to solve. It takes a lot of hard work by the government and consumers alike. Without consumer reports, many of the 114 court orders filed this year probably would not have been able to be submitted. So if you’re ever wondering if you should report a scam call, remember how valuable your input is! And don’t forget, download PrivacyStar for free on iOS and Android to start blocking – and reporting – scammers.