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FTC analysis shows COVID fraud thriving on social media platforms

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.

From the battlefield to business

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.

Ransomware risk: 2 preventive steps for your small business

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.

FTC’s Amazon settlement sends a $60 million message to businesses: Honor your promises to gig workers

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.

One for the money: Latest Notice of Penalty Offenses takes on deceptive money-making claims

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.

FTC Data Spotlight on scammers impersonating Amazon: How businesses can reduce injury to consumers

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.

Latest FTC Notice of Penalty Offenses tells 700+ national advertisers that deceptive endorsements can lead to financial penalties

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.

Notice of Penalty Offenses: What FTC’s announcement means for your business

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.

Working Better Together Volume One: Advancing Both Consumer Protection and Antitrust Enforcement to Protect all Americans from Corporate Bad Actors

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.

FTC to companies making questionable diabetes claims: Cease and desist now

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.

NIST workshop considers improvements to labeling for Internet of Things products and consumer software

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?

Protecting your business in the wake of a natural disaster

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.

FTC action against stalkerware app SpyFone and CEO Scott Zuckerman underscores threats of surveillance businesses

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.

Businesses: Phishing scheme targets unemployment benefits, PII

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.

FTC gets back to the basics at June 24th Dallas workshop for businesses, attorneys

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.

Back to business #4: Back-to-work basics for job seekers

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.

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