A massive denial of service attack last week has already resulted in the recall of a number of webcams that may have been used to aid hackers in taking popular sites like Twitter, Github, Reddit, and others offline throughout the day. Now, lawmakers are asking federal agencies what else can be done to prevent future attacks. [More]
Many for-profit college chains recruited students through ads touting exceedingly high job-placement rates, but as we’ve seen from the recent collapses of chains like Corinthian Colleges Inc. and ITT Tech, those placement statistics can be artificially inflated. This week, for-profit educator DeVry Education Group agreed to be more honest and transparent about the job-placement claims in its ads and recruitment materials. [More]
A year after federal regulators received a court order temporarily shutting down a group of marketers allegedly using deceptive online “risk-free trials” to entice customers into buying skincare products, the agency officially received orders barring the companies and their operators from using the deceptive tactics to promote their products. [More]
Four years after federal regulators sued the operators behind what might have been the scammiest payday loan Consumerist had ever seen, a federal judge has ordered Scott Tucker and his businesses to pay $1.26 billion to the Federal Trade Commission to resolve allegations of running online payday lending operations that exploited more than 5 million consumers. [More]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]