(lungstruck)

FTC: Tech Support Representatives Pretended To Be From Microsoft, Facebook, Scammed $2.5M From Consumers

It makes sense that consumers with a lack of computer knowledge would seek services and assistance from well-known tech companies like Microsoft and Facebook. So it should come as little surprise that a shady company would use this information to dupe consumers out of millions by pretending to be from the popular tech firms selling support services and software. [More]

(Listener42)

Company Touting Work-From-Home Opportunities Must Pay $25M To Consumers Who Made No Money

Here are a few clues that the employment “opportunity” you received in that email is a scam: 1) you’re required to pay your new employer hundreds of dollars for a starter kit or computer program; 2) once that program was purchased you’re encouraged to buy more programs for thousands of dollars; and 3) your new employer promises that you’ll be able to make thousands of dollars in a short period of time without ever leaving your couch. That’s about how it worked for a company the Federal Trade Commission recently ordered to repay consumers $25 million. [More]

(Timothy Barnes)

FTC Fines Company $10M For Achieving A Trifecta Of Annoyance: Mobile Cramming, Spam Texts And Robocalls

There are few things worse than getting incessant robocalls. Unless you’re getting robocalls, spam text messages and being charged for mobile cramming. The Federal Trade Commission says all of those horrible, terrible, no-good, very-bad elements were part of a massive scam affecting millions of consumers. And now the companies in charge of the alleged scam are paying a hefty penalty: $10 million. [More]

The FTC received a court order to put an end to allegedly deceptive weight-loss products.

FTC Stops Company From Charging $210 For Pills That “Burn Fat Without Diet Or Exercise”

Consumers who buy into a product that promises to let you lose weight while continuing to sit on the couch eating bonbons will likely lose more money than they will pounds. Such was the case for the customers of a dietary supplement company being shut down at the request of the Federal Trade Commission for making unsubstantiated health claims and signing consumers up for monthly charges without their knowledge. [More]

WordSmart agreed to settle charges of making false and unsubstantiated claims related to the benefits of its educational products.

FTC: WordSmart’s Claims To Improve Students’ Test Scores Aren’t Exactly Truthful

Every parent wants their child to have the best possible chance of getting into a good college. Sometimes that includes enlisting the help of educational programs to boost their college admittance scores. But millions of consumers who tried to find that assistance from WordSmart Corporation only saw a decrease in their bank accounts. [More]

(Don Buciak II)

FTC May Block Planned Sysco And U.S. Foods Merger

Last December, we shared the news that commercial food suppliers U.S. Foods and Sysco were planning a merger, which would put about a quarter of the country’s entire foodservice-supply business in the hands of one company. The merger hasn’t yet gone through, and the Federal Trade Commission is considering a federal antitrust lawsuit to stop it. [More]

FTC: No, You Probably Can’t Lose 20 Pounds By Using An Ab Glider For Three Minutes A Day

FTC: No, You Probably Can’t Lose 20 Pounds By Using An Ab Glider For Three Minutes A Day

No matter how old a Federal Trade Commission consent order is, if you break it you’re bound to pay a pretty stiff penalty. Just ask the folks over at ICON Health & Fitness Inc. who agreed to pay millions of dollars in penalties for continuing to make deceptive weight loss claims in fitness equipment advertisements. [More]

FTC: Yelp To Pay $450,000 For Collecting Personal Information From Children

FTC: Yelp To Pay $450,000 For Collecting Personal Information From Children

With each new settlement the Federal Trade Commission announces, it appears more likely that mobile apps and children just don’t go together. In the most recent case, Yelp settled allegations that it improperly collected children’s’ personal information – a big no-no that means the online review site will pay hundred of thousands of dollars to rectify. [More]

FTC: Google Must Pay At Least $19M In Consumer Refunds For Unauthorized In-App Pruchases

FTC: Google Must Pay At Least $19M In Consumer Refunds For Unauthorized In-App Pruchases

Changes may have already been implemented to prevent kids from making unauthorized in-app purchases on apps from Google Play, but that doesn’t mean the company is off the hook for the huge bills some families faced. Google has agreed to provide full refunds – with a minimum payment of $19 million – to consumers who were charged for kids’ purchases without authorization of the account holder. [More]

Former Work-At-Home Schemer Hid Assets From FTC, Must Now Pay Previously Suspended $26.9M Fine

Former Work-At-Home Schemer Hid Assets From FTC, Must Now Pay Previously Suspended $26.9M Fine

When your company is under investigation by federal regulators it’s best to be forthcoming with your net worth, because, you know, secrets come out. And when that secret happens to be hidden money, the subsequent fine will likely increase – by a lot. [More]

FTC Gives Wireless Industry Suggestions On How To Not Be Bill-Cramming Jerks

FTC Gives Wireless Industry Suggestions On How To Not Be Bill-Cramming Jerks

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission sued T-Mobile, accusing the wireless company of making hundred of millions of dollars off of so-called “premium” text-messaging subscriptions that were often never requested by subscribers. To preempt others from getting involved in illegal “bill cramming,” the FTC is asking carriers to implement policy changes now instead of waiting until it’s too late. [More]

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

If the thought of losing one’s home wasn’t bad enough, finding out that you’ve been ripped off by the companies promising to help must be even worse. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states announced a string of lawsuits and other actions against such deceptive companies. [More]

FTC Halts Debt Collection Company That Allegedly Used Illegal Tactics To Collect $8.7M

FTC Halts Debt Collection Company That Allegedly Used Illegal Tactics To Collect $8.7M

And another one bites the dust – kind of. The Federal Trade Commission, along with the New York Attorney General’s office, received an order to temporarily halt a Buffalo-based debt collection operation that allegedly used lies and threats to collect more than $8.7 million from consumers. [More]

FTC Halts Operations Of Four “Yellow Page” Directory Operations That Took Millions From Consumers

FTC Halts Operations Of Four “Yellow Page” Directory Operations That Took Millions From Consumers

For many businesses advertising in the phone book and online directories are just a few ways to reach prospective customers. But business owners should be forewarned some of those “yellow page” directories are just out to collect your hard-earned money. That was allegedly the case for four Montreal-based marketing operations that took millions from small businesses, churches, nonprofits and local government agencies. [More]

Company To Refund Consumers $3.5M Because Cactus Juice Isn’t “Inflammation Relief Without A Prescription”

Company To Refund Consumers $3.5M Because Cactus Juice Isn’t “Inflammation Relief Without A Prescription”

Advertisements featuring carefree, beautiful smiling people sipping on juice might not be enough to entice someone to buy a product, but plastering claims that the drink is a cure-all for pain could probably do the trick. But when those promises aren’t supported by, you know, actual science, then it’s called deceptive and federal regulators won’t stand for that. [More]

FTC Helps Stop Debt Collection Operations Attempting To Solicit Allegedly Fake Payday Loan Debts

FTC Helps Stop Debt Collection Operations Attempting To Solicit Allegedly Fake Payday Loan Debts

There are few things more disruptive and frustrating than receiving a phone call demanding you pay a debt. Those feeling are amplified a thousand times when you don’t actually owe a debt. Yet, that was the case for consumers contacted by a Georgia-based company that was recently shut down at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. [More]

Houston-Based Debt Collection Company Agrees To Stop Deceiving Consumers

Houston-Based Debt Collection Company Agrees To Stop Deceiving Consumers

Deceiving consumers is a trademark for some debt collection agencies. Shady collectors have been known to lie about debts, misrepresent themselves as officers of the law, threaten lawsuits, and in the case of a Houston company, charged by the Federal Trade Commission, bully people into paying unnecessary fees. [More]

Companies Settle Charges For Allegedly Scamming Millions With Work-From-Home Schemes

Companies Settle Charges For Allegedly Scamming Millions With Work-From-Home Schemes

If many work-from-home opportunities seem too good to be true, that’s because they probably are. And the Federal Trade Commission put an end to two companies that allegedly scammed millions of dollars from consumers by promising substantial income through home-based businesses. [More]