(David Guija Alcaraz)

T-Mobile: We Shouldn’t Be Sued Over Bill-Cramming Because We’re Not Doing It Anymore & We’re Super-Sorry

Earlier this afternoon, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against T-Mobile, alleging the wireless carrier made hundreds of millions of dollars off of bogus premium text-messaging charges “crammed” onto customers’ bills. The response from T-Mobile CEO John Legere isn’t exactly what you would describe as contrite. [More]

This sample provided by the FTC demonstrates how T-Mobile allegedly hid these charges from consumers.

T-Mobile Accused Of Making A Ton Of Cash From Bogus Charges On Phone Bills

T-Mobile, a company that has tried to position itself as being consumer-friendly, has been accused by federal regulators of being anything but friendly. The self-described “Un-carrier” has been accused in federal court of making hundreds of millions of dollars off of so-called “premium” text-messaging subscriptions that were often never requested by subscribers. [More]

(saramarie)

Feds Warn Consumers Against Taking Pension Advances

Unfortunately, not everyone currently in retirement has enough cash on hand to stay afloat, even those fortunate enough to receive a pension from their former employer. That’s why it might be tempting to solve a short-term money problem by taking out a pension advance, which pays you a lump sum now for signing over your pension payments to the lender for anywhere from a few years to a decade. Today, the Federal Trade Commission warned consumers to think twice before agreeing to one of these loans. [More]

"Why are you calling me about Uncle Caranthir's overdue payday loan?" (Photo: Zoomar)

Debt Collection Scammers Calling Victims’ Family & Co-Workers To Squeeze Money From People

A debt collection scam operates on two principles: That lots of us have debt, and that the con artist is good enough at his art to trick some of us into believing we have to pay immediately. But some scammers are bringing outside parties into their grift, contacting victims’ families and co-workers in the hopes that this will result in pressure to pay up on the bogus debt. [More]

Surprise! L’Oréal’s “Gene Boosting” Products Don’t Really Boost Your Genes Or Make You Younger

Surprise! L’Oréal’s “Gene Boosting” Products Don’t Really Boost Your Genes Or Make You Younger

The Federal Trade Commission announced this afternoon that it has reached a settlement deal with cosmetics giant L’Oréal regarding charges of deceptive advertising about its Lancôme Génifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code skincare products, which the company’s ad say provide anti-aging benefits by targeting users’ genes. [More]

CarMax Should Be More Transparent About Selling Recalled Vehicles

CarMax Should Be More Transparent About Selling Recalled Vehicles

When CarMax, the nation’s largest seller of used vehicles, claims each of its “Quality Certified” cars has undergone a “125+ point inspection,” and that only 1-in-3 of the cars it considers is accepted for sale, you might assume this means it isn’t selling recalled vehicles. This is not always true, and a coalition of consumer advocacy groups allege that it’s a case of deceptive marketing. [More]

This Is One Of The Scammiest Payday Loans We’ve Ever Seen

This Is One Of The Scammiest Payday Loans We’ve Ever Seen

Many payday loans have confusing terms and questionable fees that end up costing the borrower a lot more than they’d planned on when they took out the short-term loan. But it’s mind-boggling how one predatory lender managed to squeeze money from borrowers through an automatic opt-in renewal program that turns a $300 loan into $975 worth of payments in only a few months. [More]

Feds Say Bogus Debt-Relief Operation Just Left Consumers Deeper In Debt

Feds Say Bogus Debt-Relief Operation Just Left Consumers Deeper In Debt

Being elbows-deep in debt is a scary thing, so when a service tells you that you can “become debt free and enjoy financial independence” and that it can reduce how much you owe by “70 to 80 percent on average including all fees,” it might be tempting to give it a shot. But don’t be shocked when you end up scammed out of whatever money you have. [More]

Sellers Of “Pure Green Coffee” Accused Of Faking News Sites, Creating Bogus Reporter

On the left, "staff reporter Helen Hasman," who has an identical twin in Mélissa Theuriau on the right.

If you’re a regular watcher of the ethically questionable Dr. Oz, then you may remember how he helped start a minor “green coffee extract” craze a couple years back by declaring it a miracle weight loss drug. In an attempt to cash in on this dubious hype, a number of sites started popping up within weeks, repeating and exaggerating the already puffed-up claims, and using fake endorsements, faux news articles and fictional “reporters.” [More]

FTC To NJ, Missouri: Please Don’t Block Tesla & Others From Selling Cars Directly To Consumers

FTC To NJ, Missouri: Please Don’t Block Tesla & Others From Selling Cars Directly To Consumers

After lawmakers in New Jersey and Missouri both recently proposed regulations that would prohibit car companies like Tesla Motors from selling vehicles directly to consumers instead of through independent dealers, the Federal Trade Commission is weighing in with comments for legislators in those states, urging them to consider abandoning existing laws and change things up a bit. . [More]

Snapchat Settles Federal Charges It Misled Users About Privacy

Snapchat Settles Federal Charges It Misled Users About Privacy

One of the reasons people use the Snapchat messaging app, especially for messages that one may not want to have a permanent record of, is that those texts and photos supposedly disappear shortly after being received by another user.

But the Federal Trade Commission accused the service of not only over-promising and under-delivering on this notion of vanishing messages, but that it also deceived users about the amount of personal data it collected. [More]

POM Wonderful Tries Again To Convince Court Its Ads Aren’t Misleading

POM Wonderful Tries Again To Convince Court Its Ads Aren’t Misleading

For the last few years, the Federal Trade Commission has repeatedly spanked the makers of POM Wonderful beverages for making unsubstantiated advertising claims about the health benefits of its pomegranate juice products. But today in a federal appeals court, POM argued that the FTC went too far in regulating the ads in question. [More]

Payday Lenders Can’t Use Tribal Affiliation To Garnish Wages Without Court Order

Payday Lenders Can’t Use Tribal Affiliation To Garnish Wages Without Court Order

For years, a handful of sketchy payday lenders have been using purported affiliations with tribal lands to try to skirt federal and state laws. But courts and regulators have recently been cracking down on these operations, saying that a tribal connection does not shield a business from prosecution. One operation facing charges from the Federal Trade Commission has now agreed to pay nearly $1 million in penalties over charges that it illegally garnished borrowers’ wages and wrongfully sued them in tribal courts. [More]

If you leave WhatsApp, think of all the brilliant, insightful chats you'll be missing out on.

Feds Remind Facebook & WhatsApp To Respect User Privacy After They Get Married

The Federal Trade Commission is giving a bit of pre-marriage advice to Facebook and one of its many betrothed, messaging app WhatsApp, which said “I do” to Facebook’s $19 billion (with a “b”) proposal back in February. Given Facebook’s past transgressions, the FTC felt that maybe it was worth reminding the giddy-in-love couple that there are laws about what they can and can’t do with users’ data. [More]

Jerk.com Accused Of Using Facebook Profiles To Con People Into Paying To Remove “Jerk” Label

Jerk.com Accused Of Using Facebook Profiles To Con People Into Paying To Remove “Jerk” Label

The Internet has its share of websites that let people post negative comments and statements about individuals and businesses, and then turn around and allow the insulted parties to remove that content (for a fee, of course). The Federal Trade Commission has accused one such site of creating millions of fake profiles in order to scam Facebook users out of $30 each. [More]

Fandango, Credit Karma Apps Allegedly Put Consumers’ Personal Information At Risk

Fandango, Credit Karma Apps Allegedly Put Consumers’ Personal Information At Risk

Pop quiz time! What do Fandango and Credit Karma have in common? Yes, they both have really catchy (or annoying) advertisements. But that’s not the answer we were looking for. Give up? Okay, here it is: both companies allegedly deceived millions of consumers and put their personal information at risk. We never said it was a good thing to have in common. [More]

Predictive Models, Secret Scores: How Computers Decide Who You Are & What To Sell You

(Mike Saechang)

Savvy consumers all know that their lifetime debt history ends up in their credit score, and that lenders use that score to try to predict if someone is a good bet for a big loan like a mortgage. But even the most-connected consumer may not realize how many hundreds of other scores we all now trail in our wakes too, thanks to the advent of big data. Do you know, to the last decimal, how likely are you to buy jewelry? To sign up for cable? To have a kid in the next year? Someone, somewhere, is tallying all of that information about almost everyone. But good luck finding out what’s out there, who’s scoring it, and if your numbers are even actually about you at all. [More]

Infomercial Shill Kevin Trudeau Sentenced To 10 Years For Repeatedly Defrauding Consumers

Infomercial Shill Kevin Trudeau Sentenced To 10 Years For Repeatedly Defrauding Consumers

Back in November, TV pitchman, bestselling author and repeat offender Kevin Trudeau was found guilty of criminal contempt after continuing to make fraudulent weight-loss claims in the marketing of his book The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. Yesterday, they had their final say in the matter, sentencing the fraudster to a decade behind bars. [More]