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April 2019

Apr 9, 2019

We do our best to keep the puffery in check. So when we say an event features a star-studded line-up of panelists, we think we can substantiate that claim. The FTC’s ongoing Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century have brought luminaries together to discuss the...

Apr 8, 2019

Gamers call them loot boxes – in-game rewards players can buy that contain a random assortment of virtual items. The loot may help players advance in an online game or allow them to customize their avatars. The rewards may be virtual, but they’ve become a very real revenue stream for...

Apr 3, 2019

Is there anything you can’t get delivered to your front door? (And yes, home renovators will attest you can even get a front door delivered to your front door.) The burgeoning subscription model can offer convenience to customers, but only if companies honor established consumer protection...

Apr 2, 2019

Remember the old Superman movie where the Man of Steel squeezed carbon in his hand to create a diamond? That’s not how it’s done, but these days not everything sparkly comes from a mine. In addition to mined diamonds, consumers can choose simulated diamonds or diamonds created in a...

March 2019

Mar 28, 2019

To many Americans, the phrase “We support our troops” is more than just a bumper sticker. They put their money where their heart is and contribute to organizations that benefit members of the military – or police officers, first responders, or others who serve. Their generous intent shouldn’t be...

Mar 27, 2019

It’s an illegal practice the FTC has challenged for decades: companies convincing consumers to pay for “repairs” on products that don’t really need fixing. The FTC alleges that Office Depot and service vendor Support.com engaged in a 21st century version of that misleading tactic....

Mar 27, 2019

The FTC focuses most of its time and attention on protecting consumers and promoting competition. Every so often, we stop and take stock. For example, check out our just-released Annual Highlights for a detailed round-up of some of the...

Mar 26, 2019

The FTC just announced developments in the ongoing fight against illegal robocalls. “But my company would never place illegal robocalls,” you say. Glad to hear it, but...

Mar 25, 2019

Word has it there’s been some confusion as to whether the FTC’s “Lighting Facts” label requirements are still in place. So we thought it would be a good idea to shed...

Mar 21, 2019

If you sell genetic testing kits to consumers, you’re probably familiar with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information under some circumstances. You’re also familiar with the Health Insurance Portability and...

Mar 18, 2019

First, the bad news: That nifty purchase needs a repair. Now the good news for consumers: It’s still under warranty. But where can they go to get it fixed? Can the manufacturer restrict a consumer’s ability to go to the independent repair shop of their choice? Can the manufacturer use glue, non-...

Mar 15, 2019

Looking to take a deep dive into the breadth and depth of the FTC’s approach to consumer privacy and data security in the past year? The FTC’s website, including the Business Center, has what you need. But what if you or your clients...

Mar 7, 2019

From the FTC’s perspective, a certain pattern of online business has become a recipe for consumer injury.

  1. Start with a misleading “risk-free” trial offer.
  2. Add a hefty undisclosed charge if consumers don’t quickly cancel the “risk-
  3. ...
Mar 7, 2019

If the mere thought of your computer being hacked frightens you, you’re not alone. And tech support scammers know how to exploit that fear to their own advantage. They work to scare you into believing your computer is compromised and then offer to “fix” the problem – for a fee. The FTC’s...

Mar 6, 2019

The FTC’s ability to obtain information through subpoenas and civil investigative demands (CIDs) is critical to the task of investigating potential law violations. The FTC uses this authority deliberately and responsibly, avoiding unnecessary burdens on businesses and individuals and consistent...

Mar 5, 2019

When it comes to getting the working capital your company needs, you’re strictly business. Yes, you confer with traditional financial institutions, but like many small businesses, you also may look into online loans and other newer options. Financing for smaller enterprises is the topic of an...

Mar 1, 2019

When it came to designing the FTC’s Cybersecurity for Small Business campaign, you called the shots. We hosted round tables across the country and listened to what business owners had to say. You told us...

February 2019

Feb 28, 2019

Every year, millions of consumers tell us – and our partners – about the frauds they spotted. In 2018, we heard from 3 million people and learned a lot from the reports entered into our...

Feb 27, 2019

We’ll confess to singing along to a Stevie Nicks song or doing an air guitar solo when no one’s looking. But some people take their lip syncing to the next level. More than 200 million people – 65 million of them in the U.S. – downloaded the Musical.ly app. It gave users a platform to create...

Feb 26, 2019

In explaining FTC cases, we try to give readers a behind-the-scenes perspective and sometimes the most accurate insights are out of the mouths of corporate insiders. In the...

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