ftc

NutriMost ‘Ultimate Fat Loss’ System Slammed With $32 Million Judgment For Overblown Weight Loss Claims

NutriMost ‘Ultimate Fat Loss’ System Slammed With $32 Million Judgment For Overblown Weight Loss Claims

The marketing for the NutriMost Ultimate Fat Loss system claimed that users could drop 40 pounds, or more, in just 40 days, and without having to fret about calories. However, the Federal Trade Commission says that this $1,900 program is not backed by any science, actually requires a starvation-level diet, uses before-and-after examples from people related to the company, and forces customers to sign agreements that prevent them from saying anything bad about the program. [More]

Feds Warn Social Media ‘Influencers’ To Stop It Already With The Stealth Ads

Feds Warn Social Media ‘Influencers’ To Stop It Already With The Stealth Ads

Like it or not, the fact is that we’ve crossed through the mirror into a world where people are paid lots of money to mention a product, wear an article of clothing, or sip some ab-tightening tea… not because they are famous but because they get paid lots of money to mention products they got for free, wear comped clothing, and drink dubious tea — a well-dressed, flat-tummied, ouroboros shown off in impeccably framed and filtered Instagram shots. You might find it repellant, but it’s legal, so long as all of that cash and compensation is adequately disclosed — a message that a number of “influencers” and their handlers have either ignored or not received. [More]

Now The Federal Government Is Warning Against Scammy Nintendo Switch Emulators

Now The Federal Government Is Warning Against Scammy Nintendo Switch Emulators

Almost immediately after Nintendo released its new Switch gaming console, videos and banner ads touted emulators that could let you play Switch games on your PC, meaning you don’t have to pay the $300 retail price. Problem is: There currently aren’t any freely available, legitimate emulators. This hasn’t stopped hopeful Switch fans from downloading these apps anyway. After multiple warnings from journalists and tech security companies went unheeded, the Federal Trade Commission is officially advising gamers to not fall for this con. [More]

(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]

Chris Blakeley

The Internet Privacy Rule Is Dead, But Could Anyone Bring It Back?

The laws, rules, and regulations governing our world aren’t etched into mountains; they can be changed. That’s how we got new rules intended to protect our private information from being used and abused by internet service providers, and how we lost those very same rules just a few short months later. Could the pendulum swing back and restore these privacy guidelines? Not likely. [More]

FCC.gov

New FCC Chair Already Working To Undo Net Neutrality, Claims Report

When the FCC adopted the Open Internet Order (most people call it “net neutrality”) in 2015, then-Commissioner Ajit Pai railed against the idea. Now that he’s FCC Chairman, Pai is already quietly working to roll back those rules. [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]

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]

Xavier J. Peg

Watch Out For Department Of Health And Human Services Impostors On The Phone

Health care and the government are in the news lately, but they shouldn’t be on your phone. If someone calls you up and asks for personal information, don’t give it to them, even if the caller ID says “HHS Tips” or “Federal Government,” or the call appears to be coming from the 202 area code in Washington, DC. The people making these calls are impersonating the government. [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]

Chris Blakeley

FCC Chair Faces Blowback Over Decision To Undo ISP Privacy Rule

Last week, FCC Chair Ajit Pai declared that he would halt the Commission’s new privacy rule before it kicks in on March 2. That last-minute decision is now under fire from within the FCC and beyond. [More]

We Dissected This Fake News Site Linking Denzel, Stephen Hawking To Brain-Boosting Pills

We Dissected This Fake News Site Linking Denzel, Stephen Hawking To Brain-Boosting Pills

For years, marketers of sketchy dietary supplements have cooked up fake news websites and used bogus “reporters” to push their product online. But we stumbled on one site that quadruples down on the fiction, attributing utterly made-up endorsements to bona fide stars of stage, screen, sports, and science. [More]

Eric Norris

Feds Investigate Auto Lender For Its Use Of GPS Device To Remotely Disable Cars

Once upon a time, if you fell behind on your car loan, the repo guy came out in the middle of the night and took your collateral-on-wheels back. These days, there are small GPS devices that can remotely disable the ignition until the borrower pays up. However, one auto lender is currently facing a federal investigation for its use of this technology. [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]