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Uber Ordered To Pay $20 Million For Allegedly Exaggerating Drivers’ Potential Earnings

Popular ride-hailing service Uber has agreed to pay $20 million to close the book on federal charges that it used misleading and exaggerated earnings figures to attract new drivers to work with the company. [More]

Brian_B 1976

Western Union Will Pay $585 Million For Not Doing Enough To Stop Wire Fraud

Whether it’s the “distant relative stranded in a foreign country” scam or the “you’ve won the lottery but you have to pay us scam” or any other variation on this remotely operated ruse, wire transfer services like Western Union are often the conduit for getting that money from the victim to the scammer. After years of being accused of not doing enough to clamp down on fraud by its customers, Western Union has agreed to pay $585 million to federal authorities and admit that its policies — and some of its agents — aided and abetted wire fraud. [More]

Byron Chin

The things we buy and use every day are increasingly connected — to the internet, and to each other — and while this new level of interconnection provides a slew of benefits, it also raises a new set of privacy problems and security challenges. Yet, as we recently learned, consumers are often self-centered when it comes to protecting their data and don’t give much thought to making their friends’ info available. [More]

John Abella

Feds Shut Down Two Massive Illegal Robocall Operations

Fighting robocalls might seem as pointless as chasing a greased pig, but occasionally you’re able to get your slick mitts on a slippery swine and hold on, if only for a moment. Today, the Federal Trade Commission managed to nab a pair of particularly large robocalling pigs, who have allegedly been violating the Do Not Call Registry for at least five years. [More]

Feds Accuse D-Link Of Failing To Properly Secure Routers & Webcams

Feds Accuse D-Link Of Failing To Properly Secure Routers & Webcams

Federal regulators have accused D-Link, a manufacturer of popular networking and smart-home products, of leaving its routers and webcam devices vulnerable to hackers. [More]

Flyinace2000

Got An Idea On How To Make ‘Internet Of Things’ More Secure? You Could Win $25,000

Internet-connected (“smart”) devices are becoming ubiquitous, but they have this persistent problem: they’re internet-connected. A huge number are extremely vulnerable to being taken over by bad actors, for a whole host of reasons. And so, before your fridge becomes part of the next record-breaking botnet, the Federal Trade Commission wants to give someone cold, hard, cash money for coming up with a way to prevent it. [More]

1nelly

The FTC Has Some Questions About The Bass Pro Shops-Cabela’s Merger

Earlier this year, Bass Pro Shops offered to buy up one of its biggest competitors, Cabela’s, for $5.5 billion. The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the deal now, and is raising concerns that this might be too much consolidation in the hunting and fishing market. [More]

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]

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]

frankieleon

If you bought a used car from a dealership that proudly claims to put each vehicle through “125-point” or “172-point” inspections, you might assume that your vehicle is safe to drive and that it isn’t under recall for a potentially deadly defect. However, a number of big names in used cars — including CarMax and General Motors — have recently entered into settlements with federal regulators that could allow used car dealers to continue marketing their vehicles as safe even while they may have unrepaired defects. [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]

Ashley Madison’s Penalty For Exposing Details On 36 Million Users? About $.04 Per Person

Ashley Madison’s Penalty For Exposing Details On 36 Million Users? About $.04 Per Person

In 2015, a major data breach at AshleyMadison.com — the dating site targeted at cheaters — exposed information for some 36 million accounts. The company has now entered into a deal that settles federal and state charges that Ashley Madison: misled users about data security and failed to protect user information; charged users to delete profiles (but didn’t); and used fake profiles to lure in customers. While the settlement has a price tag of $8.75 million, Ashley Madison will actually pay significantly less than that. [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]

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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]

Mike Mozart

$88M In Refunds From AT&T Settlement With FTC Now Heading To Consumers

A few million current and former AT&T wireless customers can look forward to a bit of a well-timed holiday surprise this year: money! AT&T promised to refund customers at least $80 million as part of a settlement it reached with the FTC over unlawful wireless bill charges, and the Commission announced those checks started going into the mail today. [More]

Is It Time To Get Serious About Cracking Down On Stealth Instagram Ads?

If you’ve used Instagram, you’re almost certainly familiar with apparently real people touting tummy-flattening tea, an array of subscription boxes, the benefits of some multilevel marketing scheme, or the latest in fashion, beauty, and electronics. If these people are being paid to shill these products, then they have to clearly be flagged as ads. Though the Federal Trade Commission has pledged to get serious about going after advertisers who taint your Instagram feed with these stealth ads, some consumer advocates say the FTC simply isn’t doing enough. [More]

Homeopathic Treatments To Be Held To Same Standards As Other Health Products

Homeopathic medicine is a billion-dollar business, with some of the biggest names in retail selling treatments that contain few — or no — active ingredients, like the CVS brand “Homeopathic Constipation Relief” that is nothing more than a 40-proof mixture of alcohol and water. In spite of the lack of actual medication or supporting evidence, some products still make claims that they can actually treat ailments or relieve pain. Now the federal government is confirming that homeopathic items will be held to the same standards as other products on drugstore shelves. [More]