Marketer Of Pills Claiming To “Prevent & Reverse” Graying Hair Ordered To Refund $391K

Marketer Of Pills Claiming To “Prevent & Reverse” Graying Hair Ordered To Refund $391K

Sporting an ashen ‘do can make a person look distinguished — or fashion forward — but there will always be people who want to stave off the gray as long as possible. But why shell out big bucks for dye jobs, when dietary supplements promise to actually reverse the presence of gray hair? Maybe because there’s no proof that those pills will actually do anything to get rid of the grays? [More]

(Juan Cabanillas)

State, Federal Agencies Crack Down On Companies That Allegedly Facilitate Mail Fraud Of Elderly

Each year, millions of elderly consumers are lured into mail fraud schemes by all-too-attractive claims that they have won unimaginable prizes, like millions of dollars or trips around the world. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice took unprecedented steps to ensure these scammers no longer victimize older Americans by announcing action against companies that they allege are some of the little-known perpetrators of the alleged schemes: the payment processor, mailer printers, and lead generators.

[More]

Phillip Bradshaw

Consumers Union Asks FTC To Investigate Mylan For Possible Antitrust Law Violations

The EpiPen is a necessity for people who are at risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening type of allergic reaction. They’re a common item in kids’ backpacks and home first-aid kits, and the name has become a generic term that refers to epinephrine auto-injectors. Yet the product itself is only available as a brand-name product that costs hundreds of dollars. [More]

Thomas Hawk

Government Warns VW Sellers: Don’t Mislead Diesel Owners About Buyback Program

As part of a $15 billion settlement with the federal government, Volkswagen agreed to buy back hundreds of thousands of vehicles equipped with emissions-cheating “defeat devices.” While the lure of receiving more than the current value of their vehicle is presumably high for customers who feel duped by VW, federal regulators want to ensure these consumers receive what they’re entitled to through the settlement.  [More]

Jonas B

FTC Sends Warning Letters To Online Marketers Peddling Ineffective Zika-Prevention Products

It’s been a busy week for authorities going after sham products: a day after the New York Attorney General’s office announced that six companies had agreed to stop selling products that are ineffective at warding off Zika-carrying mosquitoes, the Federal Trade Commission is reminding a slew of businesses marketing Zika-prevention products that it’s illegal to make health claims that simply aren’t true. [More]

Crackdown Coming For Stealth Social Media Ads

Crackdown Coming For Stealth Social Media Ads

We’ve seen Warner Bros. get in trouble for paying YouTubers to hype a new game without properly revealing they were paid, and we’ve seen Lord & Taylor caught paying Instagram influencers to shill for a new dress. Yet our social media feeds are still overflowing with celebrities and semi-celebrities pushing products without disclosing that they are receiving a paycheck to do so. [More]

Great Beyond

Senators Call For Inquiry Into Impact Of Airbnb & Other Short-Term Rentals On Affordable Housing

Short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway are intended as a way to give travelers varied and interesting lodging options, while letting homeowners make a bit of money when they aren’t at home. However, a group of three senators are concerned that the affordable housing market is being squeezed by the increasing number of property owners cashing in on short-term rentals.
[More]

Mike Cook Foto

Feds Halt Tech Support Operation Accused Of Bilking Millions From Consumers

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if a window pops up on your computer alerting you that your device has been compromised by a malware attack and offers to fix the problem by calling a toll-free number, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. To that end: federal regulators and the state of Florida have accused an international tech support operation of bilking millions of dollars from American consumers. [More]

Supplement Maker Must Stop Claiming “Elimidrol” Can Relieve Opiate Withdrawal

Supplement Maker Must Stop Claiming “Elimidrol” Can Relieve Opiate Withdrawal

Last year, Sunrise Nutraceuticals was one of more than 100 supplement companies sued by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly making unfounded health or disease-treatment claims. To settle that suit, Sunrise has agreed to stop falsely claiming that its Elimidrol dietary supplement can alleviate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. [More]

Walmart Still Reportedly Misusing “Made In U.S.A” Labels

Walmart Still Reportedly Misusing “Made In U.S.A” Labels

The Federal Trade Commission may have dropped its probe into Walmart’s misuse of “Made in U.S.A.” labeling last fall, but an advertising watchdog group says a more recent analysis of the retailer’s website found it continues to label products with the designation even though they were manufactured in other countries.  [More]

Mobile Ad Company Must Pay $950K To Settle Charges It Illegally Tracked Users’ Location

Mobile Ad Company Must Pay $950K To Settle Charges It Illegally Tracked Users’ Location

Location-based advertising allows companies to better target consumers with ads that make the most sense for them. However, tracking the location of someone without their permission is a big no-no. Just ask InMobi which must pay $950,000 and revamp its services to resolve federal regulators’ claims that it deceptively tracked locations of hundreds of millions of people, including children.  [More]

Max Norskog

Telemarketer Tricked People Into Believing They Were Buying Cleaning Products To Help Disabled

Research has shown that shoppers may be more likely to purchase a particular product if they know that some of their money is going to a worthy cause, and some folks will take advantage of this tendency to trick people into purchasing thousands of dollars in household cleaning products under the guise of helping the disabled. [More]

Feds Sue Gold, Silver Investment Company That Allegedly Bilked Millions From Retirees

Feds Sue Gold, Silver Investment Company That Allegedly Bilked Millions From Retirees

Buying gold and silver is in many ways no different than anything else: You pay your money and expect to get what you paid for within a reasonable amount of time. Unlike most other products, when that gold and silver never arrives, you could be out thousands of dollars.
[More]

“Mosquito Shield Band” Maker Must Pay $300K, Stop Claiming It Protects Against Bites

“Mosquito Shield Band” Maker Must Pay $300K, Stop Claiming It Protects Against Bites

With the Zika virus spreading across tropical regions of South and North America, consumers are likely looking for ways to ensure they aren’t bitten by disease-carrying mosquitos as summer approaches. But there’s one option they should stay away from: so-called mosquito shield bands.  [More]

Why Is Aldi Covering Actual Prices With Confusing “Lower Price” Stickers?

Why Is Aldi Covering Actual Prices With Confusing “Lower Price” Stickers?

When you’re in the supermarket and see a big, loud “Lower Price” sticker covering up an everyday price and showing a discount of anywhere from $.20 to $5, you’d expect that the price being covered up would be the original, higher amount. That’s why some Aldi shoppers are confused about why the discounted price on the sticker is the same as the price it’s covering up. [More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Why Didn’t Staples And Office Depot Bother With A Defense Against The FTC?

On Tuesday evening, a federal judge in Washington, DC issued a preliminary injunction preventing the merger of Staples and Office Depot. The two companies called off their merger after that, but here’s the thing about the hearing: the FTC presented its case against the formation of an international office supply Voltron, but the stores decided not to put up a defense. In hindsight, that seems like a terrible idea. Why would they do that? [More]

Adrian Scottow

Find A Newspaper Subscription Renewal Notice In The Mail? It Might Be Fake

Two years ago, newspapers began warning consumers that subscription renewal notices, which ask for your credit card and personal information, may look legitimate, but are more than likely a ploy by unscrupulous companies to get their hands on your money. Today, the Federal Trade Commission took a step to rein in this scheme by suing the operators of dozens of interrelated companies that send out such notices. [More]

BlueHippo Must Pay $14M For Continuing To Rip Off Customers

BlueHippo Must Pay $14M For Continuing To Rip Off Customers

Seven years after federal regulators charged shady “no credit check” computer seller BlueHippo with contempt for allegedly violating a 2008 order by continuing to take money from customers without providing promised computers, the company has been ordered to pay $13.4 million.  [More]