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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection: Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Federal Trade Commission (FTC).




The FTC intends to conduct a survey of consumers to advance its understanding of the incidence of consumer fraud and allow it to better serve people who experience it. Before gathering this information, the FTC is seeking public comments on its proposed consumer research. Comments will be considered before the FTC submits a request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).


Comments must be submitted on or before February 3, 2003.


Send written comments to Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, or by e-mail to as prescribed below. The submissions should include the submitter's name, address, telephone number and, if available, FAX number and e-mail address. All submissions should be captioned “Consumer Fraud Survey—FTC File No. P014412.”

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Requests for additional information should be addressed to Nat Wood, Assistant Director, Officer of Consumer and Business Education, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. Telephone: (202) 326-3407; e-mail

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The FTC invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the FTC, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the FTC's estimate of the burden of the proposed collections of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of collecting information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. The FTC will submit the proposed information collection requirements to OMB for review, as required by the PRA (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended).

If a comment contains nonpublic information, it must be filed in paper form, and the first page of the document must be clearly labeled “confidential.” Comments that do not contain any nonpublic information may instead be filed in electronic form (in ASCII format, WordPerfect, or Microsoft Word) as part of or as an attachment to email messages directed to the following e-mail box: Such comments will be considered by the Commission and will be available for inspection and copying at its principal office in accordance with section 4.9(b)(6)(ii) of the Commission's rules of practice, 16 CFR section 4.9(b)(6)(ii).

1. Description of the Collection of Information and Proposed Use

The FTC proposes to survey approximately 3,000 consumers in order to gather specific information on the incidence of consumer fraud in the general population. This information will be collected on a voluntary basis, and the identities of the consumers will remain confidential. The FTC has contracted with a consumer research firm to identify consumers and conduct the survey. The results will assist the FTC in determining whether the type and frequency of consumer frauds collected in its Consumer Sentinel database of fraud complaints representatively reflect the incidence of consumer fraud in the general population and will inform the FTC about how best to combat consumer fraud.

2. Estimated Hours Burden

The FTC will pretest the survey on approximately 100 respondents to ensure that all questions are easily understood. This pretest will take approximately 15 minutes per person and 25 hours as a whole (100 respondents × 15 minutes each). Answering the consumer survey will require approximately 15 minutes per respondent and 750 hours as a whole (3,000 respondents × 15 minutes each). Thus, cumulative total hours attributable to the consumer research will approximate 775 hours.

3. Estimated Cost Burden

The cost per respondent should be negligible. Participation is voluntary and will not require start-up, capital, or labor expenditures by respondents.

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By direction of the Commission.

Benjamin I. Berman,

Acting Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 02-30653 Filed 12-3-02; 8:45 am]