Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a U.S. federal agency that protects consumer rights by working to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and teaching consumers how to detect, deter, and deny scams and fraud.

Frequently asked questions

What does the FTC do for identity theft?

While the FTC isn’t a criminal investigation agency, it does act as a clearinghouse for ID theft reports, which can then be leveraged by law enforcement for follow-up as necessary. It also educates consumers on best practices for avoiding identity theft.

What types of complaints does the FTC handle?

The FTC handles multiple complaint types, including data breaches, false advertising, identity theft, and Do Not Call violations. Complaints can be made online at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

How long do FTC investigations take?

There’s no set time frame or time limit for FTC investigations. While the FTC notes that investigative hearings generally take around 200 hours to fully complete, the process of investigation from start to finish could take weeks or months.

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