In order to mark National Consumer Protection Week, I thought I'd pass along some great advice from Daniel Kaufman, who is the Acting Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.  So, instead of giving the usual advertising law tips in this blog post, here are some thoughts about how those of us who are working in advertising can help friends and family avoid being subjected to scams.  

On the FTC's blog, Kaufman noted that the isolation caused by the pandemic increases the risk that people may be fall for scams.  He said, however, that "people who talk about scams are are much less likely to fall for them."  

Kaufman encouraged us to reach out to others who may be isolated to talk to them about common scams that people fall for.  Here are the things that he said we should discuss:

  • Scammers tell fake stories, such about access to vaccines, winning a prize, needing technical support, or about being an online love interest; 
  • Scammers want you to pay or share personal information;
  • Nobody legitimate will ever ask you to pay by gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency; and 
  • No government agency will ever call, e-mail, or text to ask you for money or your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number.

Please consider, then, taking a moment this week to reach out to people who may be isolated to help educate them about some of the ways that they can avoid being the victim of a scam. 

Looking for other ways to help consumers avoid being scammed?  One great way is to subscribe to our blog, so that you can stay updated about best practices for ensuring that your advertising claims are truthful and not misleading.