Noting that “scams that impersonate well-known businesses and government agencies are consistently among the top frauds” reported to the FTC, the agency announced that its new Rule on Impersonation of Government and Businesses takes effect today. 

Essentially, the new rule prohibits marketers from falsely posing as government entities or officials or misrepresenting their affiliation with or sponsorship by the government.  The rule includes similar prohibitions on falsely posing as (or misrepresenting affiliation with or sponsorship by) businesses.  By promulgating a rule, this allows the FTC to seek civil penalties from marketers who violate it. 

The FTC is also still accepting comments on a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, which would amend the new rule to also prohibit the impersonation of individuals as well.  

When the proposed amendment was announced earlier this year, FTC Chair Lina M. Khan said, "Fraudsters are using AI tools to impersonate individuals with eerie precision and at a much wider scale. With voice cloning and other AI-driven scams on the rise, protecting Americans from impersonator fraud is more critical than ever.  Our proposed expansions to the final impersonation rule would do just that, strengthening the FTC’s toolkit to address AI-enabled scams impersonating individuals.”