President Biden Killed StopFraud.gov
The following is going to sound political, but it is about your personal safety which should never be a political consideration! All governments sware an oath to protect their citizens, but some do it, and some do not.
On July 11, 2018, President Trump signed Executive Order 13844, establishing the Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud and identifying the Deputy Attorney General as its chair. The Task Force was part of a government-wide initiative to combat fraud (scams) against consumers – particularly the elderly, service members, and veterans – and corporate fraud that victimizes the general public and the government.
In part, this was based upon conversations with SCARS prior to Trump’s election.
The Fraud Task Force was part of a government-wide initiative to combat fraud against consumers – particularly the elderly, service members, and veterans – and corporate fraud that victimizes the general public and the government. It is chaired by the Deputy Attorney General.
Fraud committed by scammers, organized crime groups, and companies (and their employees) had a devastating impact on American citizens in the financial markets, the health care sector, and elsewhere. While the Department of Justice already aggressively combats consumer and corporate fraud, the Task Force allowed the government to do even more by partnering with law enforcement and departments and agencies throughout the government. Drawing on their pooled resources to identify and stop fraud on a wider scale than any one agency acting alone.
The Fraud Task Force brought together U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice’s other components, with essential help from other enforcement agencies, to fight fraud affecting American citizens. The idea was to pursue the mission with determination, fairness, and the coordinated resources of the Department’s law enforcement partners.
You can read the Trump Executive Order Here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-07-16/pdf/2018-15299.pdf
Biden Overturns Everything
However, as has been reported elsewhere, and as per his campaign promises, President Biden, shortly after being sworn in reversed almost all of President Trump’s actions and executive orders.
In this case, it shut down an essential tool in combatting financial fraud. Replacing the focus of the administration on critical infrastructure cybercrime protection – which still resulted in the 3 largest cybercrime incidents in the history of the United States under this administration and its new focus in 2021.
What was the result?
A 200% increase in fraud and scams! This is a doubling in just 2021 alone!
Yes, the pandemic had a huge impact on scams, but most of that growth was pandemic related, though there was an increase in relationship scams since everyone was in isolation in 2020. But after the isolation mostly ended in 2021, scams shot up.
The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security both reduced their focus on consumer or individual scams, to focus on government infrastructure cybersecurity concerns.
This change has had tragic results since suicides related to relationship, romance, and especially Pig Butchering scams have also (per SCARS and other estimates) increased 5 fold in 2021.
This governmental shift is inexcusable.
Infrastructure and governmental cybersecurity are vital, but so is the safety of the general public!
Unfortunately, the current U.S. Congress is deadlocked on any new issues relating to containing and controlling scams. We hope that the next Congress to be elected in 2022 will have a different view.
The FTC Steps Up
Fortunately, the independent body, the Federal Trade Commission, whose commissioners were appointed by Trump stepped up to fill the vacuum. The FTC expanded its Sentinel Reporting Systems (SCARS is an FTC Sentinel Reporting Partner).
SCARS was also an active participant in their recent Rule Making to increase protections for consumers from these crimes. (see here: SCARS Testimony before the FTC December 2021; and SCARS Summary Report from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Meeting December 16, 2021)
This took the place of the canceled StopFraud.gov and expanded the public’s reporting options – which is now serving as the central reporting hub for all fraud relates crimes at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS
Unfortunately, there are consequences to elections, and this is a perfect example.
This may sound like it is just politics, but remember that the actions of the President directly affect your safety online. The Obama – Biden administration handed over ownership and control of the internet to an international body, that now elects dictators to its board. The Biden – Harris administration reversed all of the consumer online safety orders from the previous Trump Administration. Do those sound like good ideas? Were you even away it was happening?
Elections have consequences. Victims of crime should remember this for future elections.
SCARS is not a political action organization. Our sole concern is improving the safety of everyone online – including you! Regardless of who is in the White House or Congress, this is our agenda!