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February 2019

Feb 8, 2019

As a business person, you know about phishing, of course. At first glance, the email looks like it comes from a recognized company, complete with a familiar logo, slogan, and URL. But it’s really from a cyber crook trying to con consumers out of account numbers, passwords, or cash. In addition...

Feb 8, 2019

Some forms of masquerading are just good clean fun. Consider The Masked Singer, a surprise TV hit in which a panel of celebrities tries to guess the identity of other celebrities who sing karaoke while wearing elaborate disguises. (We’re not making that up. It’s a thing now.) But other...

January 2019

Jan 28, 2019

Steely Dan may be one of the best duos of the rock era. (Sorry, Donnie and Marie fans.) Their song “Hey Nineteen” reminds us to mention some FTC consumer protection developments that could be of interest to your company or clients in 2019. As “Any Major Dude Will Tell You,” when you’...

December 2018

Dec 21, 2018

Not many small businesses do business these days without the services of third-party vendors, some of whom have access to your company’s sensitive information. Even if you run a tight cybersecurity ship, what happens if your accountant loses a laptop or the payroll company that connects to...

Dec 14, 2018

An employee gets a phone call, pop-up, or email warning about a problem with the office computer. In an effort to be helpful – or perhaps concerned they clicked on something that caused the glitch – the employee follows instructions to send money, turn over personal information, or provide...

Dec 12, 2018

It’s Day 2 of the data security discussion, presented as part of the FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century – and you can watch the...

Dec 11, 2018

You’ve probably been following the FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. The next two days of hearings – Tuesday, December 11th, and Wednesday, December...

Dec 7, 2018

When cyber crooks send messages trying to trick people into disclosing passwords or account information, they often mimic a recognizable email address to make it look like it’s coming from a trusted source – for example, from your company. It’s a practice called spoofing and it packs a double...

Dec 6, 2018

What do Hollywood classics Sunset Boulevard, Citizen Kane, Double Indemnity, and Fight Club have in common? They all begin with the end of the story. Because one of the business names used by the defendant in a...

Dec 4, 2018

Archeologists report that the first mention of diabetes was in a papyrus excavated from an Egyptian tomb. Roll the scroll out a bit and it wouldn’t surprise us to find an ad (in hieroglyphics, of course) for a pill or potion promising a miracle treatment....

Dec 4, 2018

Willing to wager there’s no plausible connection between 90s dance group C + C Music Factory and the FTC’s just-announced request for public comment about the Red...

Dec 3, 2018

In 2018, the Consumer Sentinel Network has seen a striking increase in the median dollar amount that people 70 and over are saying they lost to fraud. Digging into the data, we found some common stories with an unusual twist: people 70 and older report mailing huge amounts of cash to people who...

November 2018

Nov 30, 2018

Phishing scammers have gotten more sophisticated. They still send out mass emails asking consumers for credit card numbers or bank account information. But they’re also targeting small businesses by imitating the look of messages your employees routinely receive. The FTC has...

Nov 28, 2018

According to a lawsuit filed by the FTC, an international network of corporations and individuals put consumers through the wringer with false claims about “...

Nov 20, 2018

Whether it’s a spare can of cranberry sauce or an extra turkey platter, thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts make contingency plans for the holiday. This year, if the dinner discussion veers into controversial territory – like the pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie debate – here’s a suggested topic of...

Nov 19, 2018

As the only federal agency with a dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition, the FTC is uniquely situated to comment on the future of privacy policymaking in the United States. So we welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications...

Nov 16, 2018

Mention the word “ransomware” at a meeting of small business owners and you’ll feel the temperature in the room drop by 20 degrees. A ransomware attack is a chilling prospect that could freeze you out of the files you need to run your business. When FTC staff met with business owners across the...

Nov 13, 2018

It started as one of those “run it up the flagpole” ideas to enlist big-name gymnasts to promote a brand of mosquito repellent just as news stories about the 2016 Brazil Olympics were sounding warnings about the Zika virus. Public relations firm Creaxion Corporation and specialty sports magazine...

Nov 9, 2018

An employee catches up on some work while visiting the local coffee shop. She grabs her Double Mocha to go, but accidentally leaves behind a flash drive with hundreds of Social Security numbers on it. When she returns, the flash drive is gone. Then there’s the staff member who needs to free...

Nov 8, 2018

Based on the promoters’ promises, it sounded like a tropical paradise: a luxury enclave called Sanctuary Belize featuring a championship golf course, a new airport with direct flights to the U.S., and a hospital staffed with American doctors. No wonder consumers – many of whom were...

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