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“Consumer Protection: It’s the Name of the Game!” For National Consumer Protection Week 2006


Agencies in U.S. and Canada Promote Education, Awareness, and Partnerships

February 6, 2006, The Federal Trade Commission has launched the eighth annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), February 5-11, 2006, in cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies, and national advocacy organizations committed to consumer protection and education. At the Canadian Embassy today, the FTC, with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Postal Service’s Consumer Advocate, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, PhoneBusters, and Canada’s Competition Bureau announced their commitment to combat cross-border fraud as part of NCPW. The FTC also unveiled the “Grand Scam Challenge,” online, interactive games that teach consumers about topics such as identity theft, the National Do Not Call Registry, and spam.

The “Grand Scam Challenge” is an innovative, entertaining way for consumers to learn about common scams and get valuable information playing three new, online games. The games allow consumers to interact with the information and test their knowledge about common scams, such as worthless weight-loss products, bad business opportunities, and fake foreign lotteries. The “Grand Scam Challenge” can be found as part of the NCPW Web site at

“The games provide a new way of learning that is fun and accessible, as well as easy to share with others,” said Maneesha Mithal, acting associate director of the FTC’s International Consumer Protection Division. “After all, when your money’s at stake, you want to hit a grand slam, not a grand scam.”

In “Welcome to Bargainville,” players answer multiple choice questions from the Discount Dynamo, the Giveaway Guru, and the Identity Idol about protecting their personal
information and about scams that confront consumers. For “Fact or Fiction,” the playersmust choose whether each statement is true or false. And in “Spot that Scam!,” there are 10 multiple choice questions about common scams reported to the FTC. In the games, players are directed to the FTC’s Web site at for more information about the topics, including:

* Scholarship Scams
* Bankruptcy
* Identity Theft
* Credit
* Weight Loss Scams
* Business Opportunities
* Phishing
* Travel Fraud
* Internet Auctions
* Government Jobs
* Car Auctions
* Debt Collection
* Contact Lens Rule
* Dietary Supplements
* Advance Fee Loan Scams
* Foreign Lotteries
* Food Advertisements
* Do Not Call Registry
* Spam

Other organizations, especially those that provide help and advice for consumers, are encouraged to include links to the games on their Web sites. Organizations interested in promoting NCPW can click on the “Outreach Toolkit,” which contains downloadable materials – a poster, flyer, sample press materials, public service announcements, Web-ready logos, banner ads, and buttons.

NCPW is sponsored by the FTC, the Federal Citizen Information Center, the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Postal Service, the USPIS, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, the National Consumers League, AARP, the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Federation of America, and the National Association of Attorneys General. Canada’s Fraud Prevention Month in March is hosted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, PhoneBusters, and Canada’s Competition Bureau.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.


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