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.
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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.
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“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]

Scott Akerman

Regulators Widen Investigation Into Google’s Pre-Loaded Android Apps

A week after European regulators announced an investigation into Google’s requirements that Android-based devices come pre-loaded with Google apps, a similar stateside probe is finally getting off the ground.  [More]

Evil Erin

Indoor Tanning Company Issuing Refunds After Claiming Tanning Won’t Increase Cancer Risk

Because there is no magical indoor tanning system that uses UV lamps and comes with a 100% guarantee you will not get cancer from using it, a company that marketed indoor tanning systems will have to pay out refunds to consumers under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. [More]

Companies Agree To Stop Promoting Beauty Products With Synthetic Ingredients As “All Natural”

Companies Agree To Stop Promoting Beauty Products With Synthetic Ingredients As “All Natural”

One would assume when buying a product marketed as “all-natural” or “100% natural” that said product wouldn’t contain synthetic ingredients like phenoxyethanol or polyethylene, right? Wrong. At least, that’s the cases for five companies facing action by federal regulators for allegedly making false claims about their products’ ingredients.

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Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Staples & Office Depot Ask Judge To Toss Antitrust Lawsuit Without Defending Merger

Two weeks after the beginning of a federal court hearing on the proposed mega-merger between Office Depot and Staples, the office supply chains’ lawyers have decided not to present a defense against the Federal Trade Commission’s claim that the deal is bad for consumers and businesses.  [More]

Judge Scolds FTC For Maybe Telling Amazon Exec What To Say In Staples-Office Depot Hearing

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Is Amazon a valid competitor to Staples and Office Depot for the business of corporate office supply customers? In a hearing in the federal lawsuit that the Federal Trade Commission has filed against the two retailers, the government argues that it isn’t yet, and the two stores argue that it is, or soon will be. Yesterday, an attorney for Staples accused the FTC of telling an Amazon executive what to say in his testimony about his company’s plans for office supply domination, earning criticism from the judge. [More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Staples, Office Depot: FTC’s Opposition To Billion-Dollar Merger Is “Flawed,” “Wrong”

Three months after federal regulators filed a lawsuit to stop the nightmare dream formation of the $6.3 billion StaplesMaxDepot Voltron , the CEOs of the mega-office supply chains are fed up, and they’re taking that frustration to the customers by airing their true thoughts on the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to stop the deal.  [More]