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July 2017

Jul 17, 2017

Of course, phantom debt collection – the practice of pressuring people to pay “debts” they don’t owe – harms consumers. But as an FTC complaint demonstrates, when phantom debt collectors strike, they could affect your company, too....

Jul 13, 2017

Pork Chop Hill Road, Screaming Eagle Boulevard, Hell on Wheels Avenue, or my former home on Patton Drive. If those street names sound familiar, chances are you’re a servicemember, a veteran, or part of a military family. July is the...

Jul 11, 2017

It typically started with a schmoozy call to an unsuspecting small business or nonprofit. Sometimes the caller claimed to be “confirming” an existing order, “verifying” an address, or offering a “free” catalog or sample. Then came the supplies surprise – unordered merchandise arriving at the...

Jul 11, 2017

If marketing claims are any indication, “green” paint is popular with consumers, but not just in the sense of emerald, mint, or avocado. Companies are advertising that their paints are emission-free, VOC-free, and without chemicals that could harm consumers, including pregnant women, babies, and...

Jul 10, 2017

If your business has taken steps to protect your intellectual property with patents or trademarks, you’ve probably had correspondence or communications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). But some businesses report receiving letters or emails that look to be from the USPTO...

Jul 6, 2017

When something negative keeps reappearing, the old saying goes that it “turns up like a bad penny.” According to an FTC lawsuit against a North Carolina outfit,...

Jul 5, 2017

There’s been a lot of talk about “ping trees” and other activities associated with the lead generation industry. The FTC’s concern is that consumers don’t get ponged in the process....

June 2017

Jun 26, 2017

Rockne, Lombardi, Landry, Shula. Behind every sports dynasty, there’s a legendary coach. But according to the FTC, marketers of “business coaching” services took...

Jun 23, 2017

TVs, textiles, appliances, and spam. That may sound like an eclectic shopping list at a big box retailer, but they’re clues to an FTC development you and your clients should know about.

They’re all categories affected by four rules the FTC is putting under the regulatory microscope:...

Jun 22, 2017

If you own or operate gas stations, chances are you know about skimmers – illegal card readers attached to payment terminals, like gas pumps, that grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without the customer’s knowledge. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to buy things...

Jun 21, 2017

Is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule a consideration at your company? We’ve updated our guidance for businesses about complying with COPPA to reflect...

Jun 20, 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. The FTC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced the agenda for their joint workshop on the consumer...

Jun 8, 2017

It’s a record-setting win for America’s consumers and a resounding affirmation that the Do Not Call Registry means DO NOT CALL. Eight years of tenacious litigation by the Department of Justice, the FTC, and the Attorneys General of California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio has resulted in a...

Jun 7, 2017

With schedules changing as frequently as they do, we can’t be sure what’s on tap for tomorrow. But we already know where we’ll be on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. We’ll be at the FTC’s third PrivacyCon...

May 2017

May 31, 2017

Consumers rely on independent reviews and recommendations in deciding what to buy. That’s why the FTC wasn’t jumping for joy to learn that marketers of trampolines were touting their products through the use of...

May 30, 2017

The FTC’s law enforcement action against Amazon for unauthorized billing recently settled, leaving two key takeaways: 1) Consumers are eligible for more than $70 million in...

May 25, 2017

First came the companies claiming they could reduce consumers’ credit card debt. Next were the outfits saying they could renegotiate mortgages or save homes from foreclosure. Now that people are struggling with the trillion-dollar burden of student loan debt, some marketers are making dramatic...

May 24, 2017

Here’s the story of a database of sensitive consumer information – names, addresses, phone numbers, email, and payment information – posted on a site frequented by (among others) hackers. It took just minutes before identity thieves tried to make unauthorized use of the information. But this...

May 17, 2017

It’s the thread that connects Alexandre Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask, the title character in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Don Draper’s back story in Mad Men – and an event scheduled for May 24, 2017, at the FTC.

It’s identity theft.

Ten years ago, the White...

May 12, 2017

Does the thought of losing everything on your computer leave you queasy? That’s the anxiety fraudsters attempt to exploit with tech support scams – and it’s conduct the FTC and law enforcement partners are challenging through...

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