ftc

Feds Shut Down Alleged Scam Promising Student Loan Relief & Forgiveness

Feds Shut Down Alleged Scam Promising Student Loan Relief & Forgiveness

A federal court has shut down a Florida-based operation that charged customers $1,200 up front and $50/month with allegedly false promises of getting their student loan payments reduced or forgiven, sometimes in the impossible timeframe of only three years. [More]

Feds Launch Major Smackdown On ‘Tech Support’ Scams

Feds Launch Major Smackdown On ‘Tech Support’ Scams

If the world of scams was a wrestling ring, the Federal Trade Commission would be launching itself from the corner to deliver a world of hurt on tech support scammers who claim consumers’ computers are full of malware and other nasty stuff that can only be vanquished by paying them hundreds of dollars. [More]

andy_57

Appeals Court Resurrects Federal Government’s Lawsuit Over AT&T’s Old “Unlimited” Plans

The years-long dispute between the Federal Trade Commission and AT&T over the wireless company’s old “unlimited” data plans is still not dead. A federal appeals court has zapped new life into the lawsuit, meaning there’s still hope that AT&T users who saw their data throttled despite having unlimited data plans may someday get justice. [More]

aresauburn™

Woman Accused Of Faking Cancer To Collect $38K From Fundraising Campaign

With fundraising campaigns popping up all over online and in social media, it’s not always easy to tell the real causes from the fake. Officials in Alabama say one woman faked cancer and scammed charitable givers out of $38,000.

[More]

FTC: No Evidence That Herbal Products Alleviate Opiate Withdrawal

FTC: No Evidence That Herbal Products Alleviate Opiate Withdrawal

Given the pain, nausea, intestinal distress, craving, and other unpleasantness involved in opiate withdrawal, it’s understandable that people might be tempted to put their faith in an herbal supplement that promises to alleviate these problems. However, the Federal Trade Commission says the marketers of one such product had no science to back up their claims. [More]

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]