federal trade commission

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Operators Of Phony Rental Credit Check Scheme Must Pay $762K To Feds

In January, federal regulators announced they had put a stop to an apartment rental scam in which homes (that may not exist) are listed online with the sole purpose of tricking prospective renters into paying for “credit checks” that will never be done. Now, the operators of the scheme must pay $762,000 to put an end to the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations.  [More]

Matt Reinbold

Beware Scammers Spoofing Number For FTC’s Consumer Response Center

The Federal Trade Commission is one of the agencies consumers are supposed to turn to when they’ve been defrauded by scam phone calls, so it — sadly — makes sense that some fraudsters have decided that the best way to con victims is to pretend they are calling from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center. [More]

What Can Voice-Activated Device Makers Legally Do With Recordings Of Kids’ Voices?

What Can Voice-Activated Device Makers Legally Do With Recordings Of Kids’ Voices?

From your watch to your TV to your crockpot to your kids’ toys, the products we use in our home are increasingly voice-activated. Unlike previous generations of devices, these newer ones are listening, getting smarter, adapting to multiple users with different accents and cadences. To do that, they listen to, record, and often transmit recordings, of everyone in earshot of the device — including kids, whose private details are specifically protected by federal law, but who sometimes end up ordering hundreds of dollars worth of cookies. So how can Amazon, Google, Apple, or any tech company legally make an always-on device that doesn’t violate your little one’s privacy? [More]

(Scurzuzu)

Company That Sold Fake Payday Loan Debts To Collectors Must Pay $4.1M

We’ve heard it before: A debt collection company engaged in a “phantom” debt scheme in which they try to entice unsuspecting individuals into paying debts they don’t actually owe. While federal regulators have cracked down on these unscrupulous organizations in the past, they are now turning their attention to the companies providing information on these supposed debts. To that end, the Federal Trade Commission today ordered one such data company to pay $4.1 million.  [More]

DCvision2006

Operator Of Payday Lending Venture Found Guilty Of Racketeering, Other Charges

Nearly two years after federal authorities arrested the man behind the company responsible for one of the scammiest payday loans Consumerist has ever seen, the man and his lawyer were convicted of racketeering related to running a $3.6 million online payday lending operation that exploited more than 4.5 million people.  [More]

Student Loan Debt Relief Operations Allegedly Bilked $95M From Borrowers

Student Loan Debt Relief Operations Allegedly Bilked $95M From Borrowers

The federal government and 11 states have joined together to accuse 30 purported debt relief operations of using deception and false promises to swindle more than $95 million from student loan borrowers. [More]

Sketchy Debt Relief Company Accused Of Impersonating Federal Agency

Sketchy Debt Relief Company Accused Of Impersonating Federal Agency

In a sweet case of karma, a debt relief operation that claimed to wipe away consumers’ debt through an affiliation with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been sued by none other than that exact same agency.  [More]

27% Of Vehicles At Carmax Have An Open Safety Recall

27% Of Vehicles At Carmax Have An Open Safety Recall

Even though CarMax, the nation’s largest seller of used cars, has been called out publicly by safety advocates and federal regulators, a new report claims that more than 1-in-4 vehicles being sold by CarMax is currently under an open safety recall.
[More]

Kardashians & Jenners Continue Posting Stealth Ads, Despite Warnings

Kardashians & Jenners Continue Posting Stealth Ads, Despite Warnings

The federal government has repeatedly advised both advertisers and celebrities that it’s against the law for someone to advertise a product without disclosing that it’s an ad or that the celeb was compensated. Yet it looks like reality TV’s most well-known family either didn’t get that memo or is choosing to ignore it.  [More]

App That Promised To Pay Users For Fitness Trapped Some On Erroneous Payment Treadmill

App That Promised To Pay Users For Fitness Trapped Some On Erroneous Payment Treadmill

The mobile app GymPact, later known as Pact, was a tool that gave users a financial incentive to exercise, eat fruits and vegetables, and to log what they ate. Only the Federal Trade Commission claims that Pact users were charged when they weren’t supposed to be, and some lost hundreds of dollars in a negative-option mess that they couldn’t cancel. [More]

Judge Gives D-Link Partial Win In FTC Case Over Vulnerable Devices

Judge Gives D-Link Partial Win In FTC Case Over Vulnerable Devices

Back in January, the Federal Trade Commission filed a case against D-Link, a company that makes networking equipment and connected-home devices. It alleged that D-Link deceptively marketed its products as advanced and safe when they were vulnerable to attacks that range from stealing personal information to peeping through security cameras. This week, a judge dismissed three of the counts from the FTC’s case, noting that the agency didn’t present any consumers who were actually harmed.  [More]

Feds Warn Lindsay Lohan, Sofia Vergara & Other Instagram Celebs To Stop Their Stealth Social Advertising

Feds Warn Lindsay Lohan, Sofia Vergara & Other Instagram Celebs To Stop Their Stealth Social Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has warned dozens of advertisers against using Instagram “influencers” to push their products and brands without properly disclosing that money changed hands. Now the FTC is going after the celebrities themselves, issuing warning letters to folks that range from merely online-famous to bona fide superstars. [More]

Marketers Of “Risk-Free” Golf, Kitchen Products Must Pay $2.5M To Settle Deceptive Marketing Claims

Marketers Of “Risk-Free” Golf, Kitchen Products Must Pay $2.5M To Settle Deceptive Marketing Claims

Six months after federal regulators accused a group of online marketers of promoting deceptive “free” and “risk-free” trials of golf and kitchen products, the companies have agreed to pay hefty fines and revamp their billing practices to settle the allegations.
[More]

(This Year's Love)

Feds Shut Down Debt Collector That Allegedly Collected $2.1M In Unowed Debts

Once again, as part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on unscrupulous debt collectors, the Federal Trade Commission has accused a North Carolina company of running a “phantom” debt collection scheme that went after people for money that they did not actually owe. [More]

(afagen)

TaxSlayer Settles FTC Charges That Lax Security Led To Identity Theft

Sure, it might be convenient to do your own income tax preparation online, but it could be risky: Scammers all over the globe have exploited these risks, slurping billions of dollars’ worth of ill-gotten tax refunds into their bank accounts. In order to prevent even more of this, federal regulators have settled charges TaxSlayer violated federal rules on financial privacy and security. [More]

aresauburn™

FTC: Fake Discount Clubs Took $42M From People Who Never Signed Up

Discount clubs that give you savings on stuff you might want could be convenient, if you’re into that kind of thing. But not so much if you’ve never signed up for the service in the first place — and end up getting charged for it nonetheless. [More]

Elliott Brown

Uber Settles Federal Allegations It Deceived Customers About Privacy & Data Security

Uber has reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission to settle the government’s investigation into the ride-hailing service’s allegedly questionable privacy practices.
[More]

dave lewis 88

Senators Ask FTC To Finalize The Contact Lens Rule Already

Readers who wear glasses or contact lenses may be surprised to learn that their doctor is supposed to give them a copy of their prescription without being asked, but it’s true. This is especially important for contact lens wearers, whose right to shop around and buy their lenses from any authorized vendor they like is protected by the Federal Trade Commission. Proposed rules would hold doctors even more accountable, requiring them to report to the FTC that they gave patients copies of their prescriptions. [More]