Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen signed a letter led by Congresswoman Susie Lee (D-NV-03) calling on Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan to adopt a rule to crack down on business impersonation fraud and enact new protections for small businesses in the wake of a concerning uptick in this type of fraud.
Business impersonation fraud causes significant economic losses in Nevada and across the country. The letter highlights the damage already caused by business and government impersonators—estimated at $2.6 billion in economic losses in 2022 alone, for a nearly 50-percent increase over 2021. Particularly for cities like Las Vegas, which has been the top trade show destination, rampant impersonation fraud threatens the success of trade show venues and the many small businesses that rely on them. According to the Consumer Technology Association, which owns and produces the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, their customers reported at least 70 incidents of fraud via email solicitations alone in 2021, 2022, and the month leading up to CES 2023.
“Too many businesses in Nevada and other states across the country have felt the economic and reputational damage impersonation fraud can cause,” wrote the Members. “The proliferation of impersonation fraud has proven especially damaging to the face-to-face business events industry, as impersonators have more and more regularly sought financial gain by advertising for fake exhibitions, trade shows, and other business events. This targeted fraud threatens to put a damper on an industry that has long been a driving force for economic growth—for event organizers, host venues, and surrounding communities.”
“In order to protect this critical industry that’s under great threat, as well as to support associated small businesses and consumers in Las Vegas and beyond, there can be no delay at the FTC in rolling out a strong rule to stem this economic damage,” they continued. “We encourage you to act with all due haste to adopt and implement a finalized rule and to lead the Commission in moving swiftly to combat impersonation fraud and to provide relief to small business owners nationally.”
The full letter can be found here.