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December 13, 2019

Rep. David Trone Hosts Identity Theft and Consumer Protection Workshop with 130+ People in Gaithersburg


Contact: Hannah Muldavin, 

Rep. David Trone Hosts Identity Theft and Consumer Protection Workshop with 130+ People in Gaithersburg

Gaithersburg, MD – Yesterday, Representative David Trone (MD-06) hosted a workshop with a panel of experts on the topic of identity theft and consumer protection. There were nearly 140 people and 9 organizations in attendance at the public event hosted at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD.

The workshop featured a panel of experts to discuss the rise of consumer fraud, identity theft, and scams during the holiday season. Federal Trade Commission Congressional Liaison Derick Rill gave opening remarks about the importance of stopping scams before they happen. Congressman Trone and Rill moderated the panel.

The expert panel included: 

  • Derick Rill, Congressional Liaison with the Federal Trade Commission

  • Eric Friedman, Director of the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection

  • Karen Straughn, Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, Maryland Attorney General’s Office

  • John Boker, United States Postal Inspection Service

  • Robin Brown, Partnerships Specialist at the United States Census Bureau

“This holiday season, Marylanders shouldn’t have to worry about protecting their families and their wallets from scammers,” said Rep. David Trone. “This workshop brought together a wide range of experts to give power back to consumers by showing how to identify, prevent, and stop scams before they happen.”

“Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) greatly appreciates Congressman Trone assembling federal, state, and local regulatory agencies to better protect seniors from being victims of consumer scams,” said OCP Director Eric Friedman.  “Collaborative efforts are necessary to educate consumers and combat new scams in our rapidly changing marketplace.” 

“Scammers are becoming more technologically savvy, making it easier to be victimized,” said Karen Straughn of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. “Consumers who believe they may have been the victim of a scam, or have questions about scams, are encouraged to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 410-528-8662. We have a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who are here to help.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to protecting the U.S. Mail and our customers and prevention is an integral part of that effort,” said John V. Boker, US Postal Inspector. “One of the best  ways to prevent crime is educating our consumers through community outreach events like the one we are participating in tonight.”

“Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics-they cannot be used against you in any way.  All of your responses are kept completely confidential,” said Robin Brown, Partnerships Specialist at the United States Census Bureau. “At the U.S. Census Bureau, we are absolutely committed to keeping your responses confidential.  This commitment means it is safe to provide your answers and know that they will only be used to paint a statistical portrait of our nation and communities.”

The panel discussed the many topics surrounding consumer protection including the warning signs of telephone fraud, how to report bad robocalls, and what to do in the event identity theft occurs.

The workshop comes as the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan TRACED Act, supported by Representatives David Trone (MD-06), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Frank Pallone (NJ-06), and Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee John Thune (R-SD). The bill would allow all consumers to block robocalls in a consistent and transparent way, at no additional cost. President Trump is expected sign the bill into law in the near future. 

In addition to the panel discussion, there were 9 organizations in attendance focused on preventing consumer fraud. The organizations included: Alzheimer’s Association, Federal Trade Commission, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Maryland Insurance Administration, Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection, US Postal Inspection Service, Montgomery County Police Department, and The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Education and Labor, Foreign Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees, where he is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.