The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is partnering with four Latin American countries to fight cross-border fraud, with other consumer protection authorities invited to join in the future.
The cooperation agreement forms a pact between the agency and consumer protection authorities in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, the FTC announced in a press release Friday. The partnership includes a multilateral memorandum of understanding that cites information sharing in investigations and policy development.
Oher assistance agreed to includes:
- Sharing complaints submitted by consumers;
- Investigative assistance, including sharing of information relating to defendants, their assets, and/or their deceptive conduct;
- Coordination of enforcement actions against cross-border violations of law;
- Help gathering evidence; and
- Cooperation in staff exchanges, joint training programs, and workshops.
The FTC cited econsumer.gov as a place for consumers from across the globe to report fraud to relevant consumer protection agencies. The partnership is open to new member countries to join.
From 2019-22, fraud reports against companies in the four Latin American countries more than doubled, from 6,103 to 12,869, the FTC noted. At the same time, total losses reported by consumers rose from $39.4 million in 2019 to $237.9 million in 2022, the agency continued.
Reports regarding online shopping were the top complaint during the period, while social media was the top contact method cited.