STL Okie)

No, The FTC Did Not Email You That You’re Under Investigation

If the Federal Trade Commission is investigating you or your business, they will not send you an email asking you to click on a link for more information. How do we know that? The Federal Trade Commission says so. [More]

Great Beyond

Feds Halt Timeshare Scheme That Bilked $15 Million From Property Owners

When buying into a timeshare, many owners receive more weeks at the property than they could possibly use in their lives. This has created a second industry that focuses on reselling or renting out the properties. But, as the Federal Trade Commission showed this week, not all of these businesses are legitimate, some are just out to line their own pockets.  [More]

Amanda Hoffman

FTC Orders Company That Used Verizon ‘Supercookies’ To Disclose Terms, Provide Opt-Out

A couple of years ago, Verizon caught a lot of heat for a very sneaky practice: the company was inserting a unique, permanent piece of code into all the web traffic on your phone, without user consent, so that a third party could track your every digital move for advertising purposes. After a public outcry, Verizon finally stopped, and settled with the FTC… but that third-party remained a loose thread in the story. Until now. [More]

FTC Settlement Permanently Halts Alleged Energy Drink-Slinging Pyramid Scheme

FTC Settlement Permanently Halts Alleged Energy Drink-Slinging Pyramid Scheme

A year ago, a court agreed to put a temporary halt to an alleged pyramid scheme that made its money by convincing college students they could make big bucks shilling energy drinks — but only paying up for recruiting more sales friends instead. Today, the FTC has announced a settlement with the Vemma Nutrition Company that puts a halt to those practices for good. [More]

DeVry University Must Pay $100 Million To Former Students For Misleading Ads

DeVry University Must Pay $100 Million To Former Students For Misleading Ads

At the beginning of the year, the Federal Trade Commission sued popular for-profit college DeVry University, claiming the school’s advertising misled would-be students about how likely a DeVry degree is to get them a job. And now to ring out the year, the school and the Commission have reached a $100 million settlement that sends all that money right back into students’ pockets. [More]

Pressing Your Phone Camera Against Your Finger Will Not Measure Your Blood Pressure

Pressing Your Phone Camera Against Your Finger Will Not Measure Your Blood Pressure

The tiny sensors in our smartphones can do amazing things, but what they cannot do is substitute for a blood pressure cuff. That’s unfortunate, because having your blood pressure measured can be painful and unpleasant. However, one app-maker ran afoul of federal regulators by claiming that your smartphone camera could be used to accurately check your vitals. [More]

TroyMarcyPhotography.com

Don’t Fall For The ‘Missed Delivery Notice’ Email Scam This Holiday Season

If you’re like everyone else you know, you’ve probably been doing — or plan to do — a bit of online holiday shopping this year. Missing a delivery could put a serious kink in your day, but don’t let that fear draw you into a scammer’s net. [More]

Senator Calls For Investigation Into Office Depot’s Alleged Computer Scanning Scheme

Senator Calls For Investigation Into Office Depot’s Alleged Computer Scanning Scheme

Following a whistleblower report that some Office Depot staffers are allegedly falsely telling customers their computers are infected with viruses in order to sell them on unnecessary repair services, one lawmaker is calling on federal regulators to investigate. [More]

Man Who Made Fake News Sites To Sell “Pure Green Coffee” Must Pay $30M To Customers

Man Who Made Fake News Sites To Sell “Pure Green Coffee” Must Pay $30M To Customers

Two years after the Federal Trade Commission sued the marketers of the “Pure Green Coffee” for using fake news sites and fictional reporters to push the weight-loss supplement, the man behind those companies has been ordered to repay $30 million to customers tricked into buying the product. [More]

Matt Reinbold

Feds Shut Down Telemarketing Scam That Pitched Money-Making Schemes & Bogus Grants

As wonderful as it might sound, odds are that no one is trying to call you to give you free money, and anyone who dangles a get-rich-quick scheme in front of you should be quickly ignored. Yet federal regulators say  telemarketers tricked seniors and veterans out of their money with these sorts of scams.
[More]

Mr Seb

Senator Asks Federal Agencies For Information On Massive Internet Of Things Breach

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]

DeVry University Must Stop Claiming That 90% Of Grads Get Jobs

DeVry University Must Stop Claiming That 90% Of Grads Get Jobs

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]

Skincare Marketers Barred Over Deceptive Marketing and Billing Practices

Skincare Marketers Barred Over Deceptive Marketing and Billing Practices

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]

eyetwist

Operators Of Scammy Payday Lender Ordered To Pay $1.26 Billion

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]

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]