Elizabeth Owen, former director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and executive director of the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators: Thirty years as a consumer advocate taught me that it’s sometimes impossible to spot the difference between a legitimate business and a deceptive one. Consumers need help. Fraudulent offers to make money fast by selling a scheme to friends and neighbors — “pyramid schemes” — are often confused with legitimate direct selling. Direct selling has an incredible place in commerce in this country. Last year, it was responsible for an $83 billion impact, with over $10 billion paid in federal, state, and local taxes. More than 20.5 million people love being involved in direct selling. Pyramid schemes, on the other hand, hook you in and require a substantial sum of money for over-rated merchandise. Pyramid schemes create financial hardships for consumers and headaches for law enforcement. Earlier this year, consumer protection legislation was introduced in Congress by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Marc Veasey (D-TX): H.R. 3409, the Anti-Pyramid Promotional Scheme Act of 2017. The best consumer protection laws are designed to protect consumers as well as legitimate business. This bill accomplishes both. Read more in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Urge your Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 3409 today — it’s easy through the Direct Selling Association Advocacy Center! http://www.dsa.org/advocacy/direct-selling-advocacy-center