The Federal Trade Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) to strengthen cooperation regarding cross-border fraud matters. Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen signed the MOU on behalf of the United States, and Commissioner Bob Paulson signed on behalf of the RCMP and Canada.
The MOU concerns the exchange of information for the purpose of enforcing and securing compliance with American and Canadian consumer protection laws, including the FTC Act, Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, and others. The MOU recognizes the FTC and RCMP have cooperated on investigations in the past, shared consumer complaints, and assisted each other with foreign asset recovery.
“This MOU will strengthen our efforts to combat cross-border fraud and protect both U.S. and Canadian consumers,” Ohlhausen said. “This will expand our areas of cooperation and our ability to share information and conduct joint investigations.”
The RCMP acts as Canada’s national police force at the federal level, in addition to providing policing services to Canada’s eight provinces. The RCMP participates with the FTC in five Canada-U.S. regional partnerships focused on combating cross-border marketing fraud, together with numerous other U.S. and Canadian enforcement agencies.
Past cooperation between the FTC and RCMP includes a 2016 case that netted $1.87 million in relief for victims of an alleged debt relief scam involving a telemarketing operation that charged homeowners an upfront fee for debt and mortgage relief services it never provided, as well as a 2015 case involving cross-border telemarketing fraud that targeted seniors. The MOU will expand cooperation between the two agencies in enforcing each country’s respective consumer protection laws.