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On April 20, members of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) testified before the Senate Commerce Committee to update lawmakers of their efforts to curtail scams and other fraudulent consumer abuses related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to highlighting the abuses consumers have faced during COVID-19, the FTC reiterated its call for Congress to pass legislation reaffirming that the agency has authority to prohibit unlawful conduct and seek monetary relief for consumers who have lost money from illegal conduct. The FTC has historically relied on Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act to prohibit illegal conduct and secure monetary relief for consumers, but the Supreme Court ruled two days after this testimony that the agency does not have authority under the Federal Trade Commission Act – Section 13(b) to seek, nor a court to award, equitable monetary relief, such as restitution or disgorgement.
Continue Reading FTC Testifies Before Congress on Its Work to Protect Consumers from COVID-19 Scams and Threats to Its Ability to Return Money to Victims of Illegal Conduct