The marketers shut down by the FTC hawked "risk free trials" of a variety of skincare products that weren't actually free.

FTC Says Some Of Those “Risk-Free Trials” For Skincare Products Are Bogus, Shuts ‘Em Down

Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the lure of a “risk-free trial” when it comes with a product that promises to leave your skin youthful, radiant and as soft as a baby’s bottom. But as the Federal Trade Commission once again reminds us, those deals often come with strings attached and hollow promises. [More]

(Sybren Stüvel)

Don’t Lie About Paying For Online Reviews. It’s Against The Law

In this era of social media and crowdsourced reviews, businesses with happy customers do what they can to publicize positive feedback. But if a company compensates customers for reviews and fails to disclose that tit-for-tat relationship, it’s illegal and deceptive marketing. [More]

(Alan Cleaver)

FTC Files Lawsuit To Shut Down Deceptive Payday Loan Debt Relief Operation

It’s probably safe to assume that consumers stuck in the payday loan debt-trap have enough financial issues without being deceived by a company promising to make their debts disappear. There may be one less unsavory debt relief company around after the Federal Trade Commission sued to stop an operation that targeted millions of consumers. [More]

MelApp is one of two melanoma detection apps that came under scrutiny by the FTC.

Feds Warn: These Melanoma Detection Apps Aren’t Supported By Scientific Evidence

Early detection of cancer can help save lives and make treatment easier, so the idea of mobile app that can spot possible skin might seem like a godsend… if there were any science to back it up. [More]

Marketers Of Green Coffee Bean Weight-Loss Products Must Refund $9M

Marketers Of Green Coffee Bean Weight-Loss Products Must Refund $9M

By now we should all be fairly familiar with the saga of Dr. Oz, the supposed “miracle” weight-loss benefits of green coffee bean extract, and the Federal Trade Commission’s mission to put a stop to the craze by shutting down marketers and online sellers that created fake news sites, fake reporters and relied on bogus studies to sell the product. The Commission’s work continued Monday when one such company agreed to pay $9 million in consumer redress to settle charges of deceptively marketing the products. [More]

(ken fager)

Whistleblowing Former For-Profit College Dean To Receive $395K After Being Fired

Over the past year, we’ve heard many horrendous stories from current and former employees about the deceptive practices used by for-profit colleges to attract students. Now, one such employee is being compensated after she says she was fired from the college she worked at because she brought attention to the school’s allegedly deceitful practices.  [More]

(northernplateguy)

U.S. Bank Ordered To Refund Customers $48M For Deceptive Add-Ons

Promising consumers a service and then never delivering on that promise is not a good way to do business. When those services are meant to protect consumers’ bank accounts, then you’re likely going to be in trouble with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Such was the case today when the CFPB ordered U.S. Bank to pay more than $57 million in refunds and penalties for allegedly deceptive banking practices. [More]

CFPB Orders Online Mortgage Lender To Pay $19.3 Million For Bait-And-Switch Scheme

CFPB Orders Online Mortgage Lender To Pay $19.3 Million For Bait-And-Switch Scheme

Business wasn’t exactly booming for mortgage lenders after the great recession and housing market slump, but that doesn’t mean they had the right to mislead consumers just to make a few (million) bucks. One company that allegedly did just that must repay million of dollars to customers it wronged. [More]

(Molly)

Reverse Mortgage Company Caught Mailing Deceptive Info To Seniors

Even under the best of circumstances, choosing to take out a reverse mortgage is a difficult and often costly decision for many senior citizens and their families. But when you throw in a number of half-truths and marketing materials designed to mislead consumers into thinking they are taking part in a government-run program, well, that’s just wrong. And the state of New York won’t stand for it as one company recent found out. [More]

Food Watchdog Group Threatens To Sue Campbell Over Juice Content Of V8 Splash, V8 V-Fusion Drinks

Food Watchdog Group Threatens To Sue Campbell Over Juice Content Of V8 Splash, V8 V-Fusion Drinks

While it’s known for its 100% V8 vegetable juice, Campbell Soup knows not everyone wants to straight up chug tomatoes. That’s why it’s been peddling its V8 Splash and V8 V-Fusion drinks, which combines fruit juices as well as those healthy veggies. But one food watchdog group says the company is misleading consumers about exactly how much juice is actually in those beverages. It’s threatening to sue Campbell. [More]

Senate Investigates Publishers Clearing House Amid Allegations Of Deceptive Marketing

Senate Investigates Publishers Clearing House Amid Allegations Of Deceptive Marketing

For years the friendly faces at Publishers Clearing House have been giving consumers hope that they’ve won or are about to win a fabulous prize. But does the company mislead consumers with deceptive sweepstakes promotions? In some instances, yes, a new report has found. [More]

Banzai Slide 'N Splash Whale Pool Box Vs. Reality

Banzai Slide 'N Splash Whale Pool Box Vs. Reality

Three years after we first started pointing it out, Banzai continues to make kiddie pools that are disproportionately smaller than they appear on the box. The latest to enrage the internet is their “Slip ‘N Splash Whale Pool.” On the box it shows four children frolicking. In real life, those would have to be tiny munchkin children. [More]

1950's Kool-Aid Commercial Drinks Itself

1950's Kool-Aid Commercial Drinks Itself

Here’s a retro Kool-Aid commercial from a simpler time. Back when the Kool-Aid man was just a jug with a condensation face that talked. No busting through walls. he just chilled there like a good friendly value sitting on a table. Children and adults just whistled at one another to signify that it was Kool-Aid time. And mothers spoke very precisely and articulately. Ahhh. [More]

FDIC Scrutinizes Discover's "Payment Protection" Plan

FDIC Scrutinizes Discover's "Payment Protection" Plan

The FDIC is looking into Discover over concerns that they deceptively marketed their “payment protection plan” for their credit card. Under the plan, if you were experiencing hardship you could put payments on hold for up to two years. Sounds great, but buried in the fine print was that you would end up paying a 10.5% monthly fee for the pleasure of doing so. [More]

Finallyfast.com Refunds Thousands In Scareware Suit

Finallyfast.com Refunds Thousands In Scareware Suit

FinallyFast, one of those companies with the late-night infomercials promising to make your computer faster, has settled with the Washington AG for misleading and deceiving consumers, and making it hard to cancel or get refunds. One of their tactics was to make the free scan on their site falsely identify harmless files on your computer as being errors. Consumers can now get some of their money back. [More]

Senate Concerned About Buy.com's Aggressive Webloyalty Checkout Hardsell

Senate Concerned About Buy.com's Aggressive Webloyalty Checkout Hardsell

Before you can finish your purchase at Buy.com, you have to go through an entire page trying to upsell you to the much-maligned Webloyalty program and click the tiny “no thanks” button at the bottom. You can find it located under the large YES! button. [More]

Ticketmaster Pays $50,000 Fine, Closes More Than 100 Deceptive Site

Ticketmaster will pay a $50,000 fine and shutter more than 100 deceptive brokerage sites as part of a wide-reaching agreement with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Madigan’s office accused Ticketmaster’s always shady subsidy, TicketsNow, of creating sites that masqueraded as local venues selling tickets at face value. The settlement also requires TicketsNow to wait until after Ticketmaster puts non-sporting events on sale before hawking tickets at outrageously inflated prices.

United, US Airways Bill Higher Baggage Fee As A Way To Save. Huh?

United, US Airways Bill Higher Baggage Fee As A Way To Save. Huh?

United and US Airways will soon charge an extra $5 to check bags at the airport, charging $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second. Since it will still cost $15 and $25 respectively to pay for checked bags online, United thinks they can herald the chance to “prepay & save!,” while US Airways boasts that they now have a “lower fee online!”