With more than a century of consumer protection experience under our belt, we at the FTC know that hard times for American families can be boom times for scammers. Today’s COVID-19 pandemic is the latest crisis creating fertile ground for fraud – and scammers today have a new and powerful weapon: social media platforms. These platforms generally earn their revenue by targeting users with advertising. The more time we spend on platforms consuming content and revealing valuable personal information, the more that platforms profit by having information to target ads.
November 11th is Veterans Day, a time to honor the nation’s former military personnel. Every year more than 180,000 servicemembers leave the military to join the ranks of the nation’s 18 million veterans. When the troops transition back to civilian life, launching their next career — whether that means starting their own business or finding a job — is one of the first tasks at hand.
If recent headlines about ransomware attacks on companies have you worried, your concerns are well-founded. Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency – you may know them as CISA – issued a Fact Sheet on Rising Ransomware Threat to Operational Technology Assets. The computer criminals who traffic in ransomware try to exploit vulnerabilities in technology and soft spots in human nature.
The FTC just sent almost $60 million in checks and PayPal payments to eligible drivers who had their tips illegally taken by Amazon. Our advice to Amazon Flex drivers: Watch your mailbox for a check. Our advice to companies that hire gig workers: Watch what you say to workers and customers – and live up to your claims.
If businesses make coronavirus prevention or treatment claims for their products, it’s time to get up to speed on the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act.
Money-making claims have been around for as long as there’s been money. They show up in promotions for gig work, multilevel marketing, “be your own boss” seminars, and work-from-home offers. But when tried-and-true tactics turn into tried-and untrue, the FTC has a long history of challenging deceptive claims related to money-making opportunities. Those misrepresentations are the subject of the FTC’s latest use of its penalty offense authority.
The FTC just released a report based on data received from major players in the mobile Internet market and A Look at What ISPs Know About You: Examining the Privacy Practices of Six Major Internet Service Providers is an eye opener.
The FTC has been warning consumers for years about impersonation scams – calls that falsely claim to come from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or other offices or businesses. The messages try to coerce people into making immediate payments or turning over sensitive personal information.
Employing every available means to protect consumers from deceptive and misleading practices, the FTC recently announced the revitalized use of its statutory Penalty Offense Authority. More than 700 businesses – top consumer products companies, leading retailers and retail platforms, major ad agencies, and other names you know – are recipients of the latest Notice of Penalty Offenses aimed at curbing illegal practices in the use of endorsements and testimonials.
When the financial future of millions of Americans is at stake, it’s important for the FTC to use every tool at its disposal to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair conduct. The FTC just announced the revitalized use of an existing method to hold companies accountable by imposing financial penalties for illegal acts.
The FTC was created to act as a guardian of fair markets, armed with broad authority to ensure our economy is one in which consumers, workers, and honest businesses can thrive.
Chair Khan is committed to realizing that vision of an agency that takes on problems holistically, rather than from a consumer protection or competition lens alone. This means ensuring that the Commission’s two enforcement bureaus – the Bureau of Competition and the Bureau of Consumer Protection – are working hand-in-hand to root out marketplace abuses.
According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes. To put a human face on that public health statistic, 1 in 10 people at your company, friends in your neighborhood, and members of your extended family struggle with a disease that could threaten their lives. The uninsured, those with high-deductible health plans, and lower-income consumers face another challenge that makes managing diabetes even more difficult: the high cost of insulin.
The Nilsson song “Everybody’s Talking” has withstood the test of time and now could refer to the host of smart household products that communicate with consumers – and often with each other. But are companies protecting the security of consumer information they collect or maintain?
If your company is facing the fall-out from Hurricane Ida, flooding in Tennessee, western wildfires, or any other natural disaster, your employees are looking for help in the recovery process – and you’re looking to make a safe return to business. But as flood waters recede, dangerous predators can spring to the surface: scammers targeting people and small businesses trying to get back on their feet. Here are ways to avoid common post-disaster scams.
By installing an app called SpyFone onto the device of an unsuspecting person, a user could stealthily track their target’s email, photos, contacts, calendars, web history, and even location. Support King, LLC, and CEO Scott Zuckerman marketed SpyFone as a way to monitor the activities of children and employees, neglecting to take action to prevent stalkers and domestic abusers from using the illegal secret surveillance effectuated by the company’s products.
Have you or one of your employees received an alarming text message about unemployment insurance benefits from what seems to be your state workforce agency? You’re not alone. Identity thieves are targeting millions of people nationwide with scam phishing texts aimed at stealing personal information, unemployment benefits, or both.
Set a reminder now for Tuesday, July 27, 2021, to make sure you’re up on the latest research about privacy and data security. That’s the date of the FTC’s sixth annual PrivacyCon and you’re invited to participate virtually.
No one can top Waylon Jennings’ invitation to Luckenbach, Texas, where people can get “Back to the Basics of Love.” But we can offer the next best thing for business executives, advertising professionals, and attorneys: a virtual invitation to Dallas, Texas, on June 24, 2021, to get back to the basics of law.
We’ll leave it to the economists to crunch the employment numbers. We’re just happy to see more Help Wanted signs in the windows of Main Street retailers. That’s good news for Americans affected by pandemic-related layoffs. As companies are getting back to business and returning to an in-person workplace, the FTC has some tips for job seekers.
Call it a “blessing.” Call it a “loom.” In a case just filed in federal court, the FTC and the State of Arkansas use another phrase to describe what the operators of the Blessings in No Time investment program are up to. We call it a pyramid scheme.