federal trade commission

(Tim Knifton)

FTC Shuts Down Tech Support Scammers Pretending To Work For FTC

Con artists love pretending to be from the federal government; it can lend an immediate air of far-reaching authority to whatever scam they are pulling. Similarly, play-acting as a tech support expert can take advantage of everyday folks’ lack of knowledge about the inner workings of their electronics. One Florida man allegedly tried to combine these two beloved character types into one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of fraud, only to be shut down by the very agency he impersonated. [More]

Amazon Stops Fight With Feds Over Kids’ In-App Purchases; Parents May Finally Get Refunds

Amazon Stops Fight With Feds Over Kids’ In-App Purchases; Parents May Finally Get Refunds

Almost a year after Amazon was found liable for unfairly billing parents for kids’ in-app purchases, consumers are one step closer to getting refunds for those unauthorized charges after the Federal Trade Commission and the e-commerce giant decided to stop fighting over the process. [More]

NetSpend To Pay $53M To Resolve Allegations It Misled Prepaid Card Customers

NetSpend To Pay $53M To Resolve Allegations It Misled Prepaid Card Customers

NetSpend, one of the nation’s largest providers of prepaid debit cards, will pay $53 million to resolve federal regulator’s accusations that it misled users about access to funds deposited to the cards.  [More]

(bradhoc)

The IRS Is Now Using Private Debt Collectors; Here’s What You Need To Know

After years of warning taxpayers that the IRS will never cold call you to collect a tax debt, things are about to change as the IRS begins handing over some of its debt-collection work to private firms who probably will call you. [More]

Feds Shut Down “Risk-Free” Online Marketing Scheme Peddling Golf, Kitchen Products

Feds Shut Down “Risk-Free” Online Marketing Scheme Peddling Golf, Kitchen Products

As we’ve mentioned before, many companies try to lure consumers into purchasing products — be it skincare treatments or weight-loss supplements — by plastering offers for “free” or “risk-free” trails on advertisements. But as federal regulators reminded us once again, these deals often aren’t free, and don’t come without risk[More]

Adam Reker

Spammers Must Pay $500K After Using Hacked Emails To Push Diet Pills

Last summer, federal regulators charged the operators of an alleged spam scam of hijacking hacked email accounts to spread the word about a slew of unproven weight-loss products. Now, the three affiliate marketers have agreed to pay $500,000 to put the case behind them. [More]

Feds Say Invention Marketing Firm Used Bogus Testimonials, Threatened To Sue Clients

Feds Say Invention Marketing Firm Used Bogus Testimonials, Threatened To Sue Clients

Getting your awesome invention from scribble to prototype to store shelves is often no simple task, but one company that promised to help amateur inventors patent and market their creation has been shut down by a federal court after being accused of bilking millions of dollars from its clients.  [More]

frankieleon

4 Scams You Should Always Be Aware Of

In honor of National Consumer Protection Week — don’t worry; we forgot to get you a gift too — we wanted to take a few moments to remind everyone of some of the most common scams so that they can do their best to avoid them. [More]

Watch Out: That “Free” Trial Of Wrinkle Cream Could Cost You Big Bucks

Watch Out: That “Free” Trial Of Wrinkle Cream Could Cost You Big Bucks

It’s always good to keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Like an empty subway car on a hot summer day, or the email telling you you’ve just inherited millions from a dead Nigerian king. Or an offer for a “free” trial of beauty cream that ends up actually costing you hundreds of dollars. [More]

Blogtrepreneur

FCC Officially Blocks Part Of ISP Privacy Rule From Taking Effect

As it was foretold, so it has come to pass: The Federal Communications Commission, under the direction of its new Chairman Ajit Pai, has taken action to block a portion of its own new privacy rule for internet service providers. [More]

German Officials Tell Parents To Destroy Doll That Records Conversations

German Officials Tell Parents To Destroy Doll That Records Conversations

Late last year, research indicated that certain toys may be collecting audio recording and personal information from children and sending that data to a company that used the information to improve the voice-recognition tools it sells to the military and law enforcement agencies. While consumer advocates quickly filed complaints with federal regulators in the U.S., across the pond, authorities in Germany are now directing parents to get rid of the “My Friend Cayla” doll.  [More]

Ann Fisher

FTC Investigation Finds 23% Of Funeral Homes Don’t Provide Price Lists

The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule is a bit of consumer protection that one doesn’t think about much unless until shopping for funeral services. Fortunately, the FTC sends undercover investigators out across the country to check whether individual funeral homes are treating customers in a way that complies with the rule. [More]

Student Loan Debt Collector To Pay $700,000 For Unlawful Collection Practices

Student Loan Debt Collector To Pay $700,000 For Unlawful Collection Practices

With more than 40 million consumers holding thousands of dollars in student loan debt, it’s no surprise that student loan debt collection is a growing business. Yet, these collectors must follow federal rules when it comes to enticing debtors to repay their obligations. Despite this, federal regulators say one company wasn’t following the rules, and must now pay $700,000.  [More]

(Sapurah Lashari)

Stratford Career College Settles Charges It Deceived Students Over Diploma Program

Obtaining a high school diploma can be a gateway for a consumers’ future, whether it be moving on to a college or university or scoring a job. But, as thousand of students of Stratford Career Institute found, a diploma is only good if it’s recognized. To that end, the correspondence school has agreed to a suspended $6.5 million settlement resolving federal regulator’s allegations that it misled students about its high school diploma course.  [More]

Sh4rp_i

How To Avoid Losing Money To The “Utility Company” Scam

When the weather outside is frightful, losing your heat or electricity is the last thing you want to have happened. But don’t let your fear of such an event push you into falling for a common scam perpetrated by fraudsters trying to pass themselves off as utility company employees on the phone. [More]

via NPR

Looking For “Facebook Customer Service” Online? Don’t Call This Scammy Number

When it comes to customer service, Facebook is notoriously difficult deal with, which is why people go searching on Google and elsewhere for any sort of reliable contact information for the site. But beware: There’s a scammy phone number lurking on the internet, passing itself off as “Facebook customer service.” [More]

frankieleon

VW To Pay $1.25B To Buy Back, Fix Cars With Emissions-Cheating ‘Defeat Devices’

And just like that, Volkswagen’s years-long “Dieselgate” scandal is nearing a conclusion as the carmaker has finally reached an agreement with federal regulators to fix and compensate owners of 78,000 3-liter diesel engine vehicles equipped with so-called defeat devices.  [More]

Phillip Bradshaw

FTC Opens Antitrust Investigation Of Mylan Over EpiPen’s Market Dominance

The EpiPen was a perfect symbol of the current state of pharmaceutical companies and health care expenses: It was a life-saving drug that had been around for decades, often used by children, and with a price that kept rising. The controversy over the epinephrine injectors led to news stories, a Congressional hearing, a $465 million settlement for overcharging Medicaid, and investigations by the states of New York and West Virginia.

[More]