If you’re a Consumerist reader, you’re probably the type of online shopper that would be wary of a website promising a “free trial” period. But every year, millions of Americans think they’re getting something for nothing — only to end up much poorer because they didn’t read the fine print. [More]
It was nine months ago that the Federal Trade Commission announced its crackdown on companies that created sites aimed to look like news reports that were really just advertisements for supplements and other weight loss products made from acai berries. Now, as part of a settlement agreement, six online marketers will permanently stop the deceptive practice. [More]
Probably the most shocking part of this story is that it took so long to reveal what seems to be kind of a given: Those ubiquitous “1 Tip for a Tiny Belly” ads are a scam, says the Federal Trade Commission. [More]
For decades, U.S. debt collectors have plied their trade under the watchful but lazy eye of the Federal Trade Commission, which has the authority to go after the worst of the bunch but can’t create new rules governing these businesses. But later this summer, debt collectors will come under the supervision of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau… and that scares them, especially after complaints about debt collectors jumped 17% last year to 140,036. [More]
The other night, while I was going hog-wild on a pint of something containing fudge, peanut butter, sprinkles and unicorn horn, I thought to myself, “If only there could be some health benefit to eating this.” Now I find out that a food scientist at the University of Missouri is tantalizingly close to squeezing all sorts of goodness into the gobs of gluttony in my ice cream. [More]
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is taking a harsh legal stand against 10 companies and individuals marketing acai berry weight-loss products online by using fake news websites which imply endorsement from major media outlets — including our sibling publication Consumer Reports. [More]
Last summer, Central Coast Nutraceuticals settled a deceptive practices charge from Arizona’s Attorney General by promising to pay $1.4 million in fines. Now the company, which peddles acai berry and colon cleansing products, has been forced to temporarily stop selling or marketing its wonder products completely under an injunction obtained yesterday by the FTC. [More]
Our more scholarly siblings over at Consumer Reports recently sat down for an interview with David Vladeck, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. And while Mr. Vladeck had all sorts of important things to say about scams, frauds and various sorts of hoodwinkery, the most important thing is that he likes us… he really likes us. [More]
If you’re between jobs, underemployed, or just have a lot of extra time on your hands now that you’ve give up expensive hobbies like smoking or shopping, here’s a list of 24 ways you can you earn some extra money. They’re not full time jobs, or sometimes even part-time jobs, but they’re a good starting point if you need some inspiration on how to bring in a little extra cash. [More]
That “local mom” trying to sell you her secret formulas for weight loss and tooth whitening in Internet ads may need to find a new job. Visa cut off payments to 100 merchants. The culled companies were the fine folks behind the “free sample” negative-option scams that Consumerist has written about extensively in the past. [More]
Amazing pills that will make me look younger and lose weight? And it comes as a free trial, you say? Of course I’ll try it! Here’s my credit card number. What could possibly go wrong?
Beware! Affiliate spammers have infiltrated innocent online groups, looking to take advantage of the people who haven’t yet heard that “free” trials of magic diet foods are a scam.