The Federal Trade Commission has issued a report that examines more effective ways to protect consumers from fraudulent financial schemes.

The report, which the FTC released Tuesday, is based on a Fraud Forum that the agency convened back in February. The forum was attended by academics, consumer advocates, industry representatives, and state and federal law enforcement authorities.

In the report, the FTC staff recommends six ways for the agency to improve the effectiveness of its anti-fraud program:
•    Extending the FTC’s outreach to under-served communities;
•    Improving victim assistance by referring individuals who file complaints to appropriate social services organizations;
•    Combating fraud by enlisting the help of third parties, targeting third-party enablers and facilitators, and initiating a rulemaking under the Telemarketing Sales Rule to address problems related to the use of remotely created checks;
•    Providing law enforcement and legal services organizations with training on the use of new technologies to fight fraud and improving law enforcement coordination;
•    Expanding the number of contributors to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database and making additional fraud data accessible to law enforcers; and,
•    Encouraging additional research on victims and fraudsters.

The House of Representatives recently approved financial reform regulation that sets up a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The Senate is at work on its own version of the bill, which the Obama administration hopes to pass early next year.

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