The FTC continues to monitor the marketplace to protect consumers from allegedly unsubstantiated COVID-19 claims. What are we seeing? Whether they’re selling tablets, treatments, or trinkets, companies are still making questionable representations about their products or services. The following 20 businesses are the latest to receive warning letters from the FTC about unsupported prevention or treatment claims, bringing the total to more than 330.
Interested in what’s going on with the Franchise Rule? Reviewing the Franchise Rule: An FTC Virtual Workshop begins at 1:00 Eastern Time today – Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Minutes before the start of the workshop, follow the link on the event page to watch the webcast. In addition, FTC staff will live tweet from the FTC’s Twitter page using the hashtag #FranchiseRuleFTC.
This time last year, “zoom” was just a word related to speed. But the pandemic has made video conferencing platform Zoom a daily fixture for business people conferring about trade secrets, doctors and mental health professionals discussing sensitive patient information, kids keeping up with school work, and the rest of us sharing everything from the details of day-to-day life to confidential family matters.
For years, the FTC has warned about imposters – scammers who masquerade as government officials, financial institutions, family members, etc., in an attempt to flimflam consumers and businesses. The FTC just filed a lawsuit alleging a variation on the imposter scheme. According to the complaint, the defendants set up dozens of look-alike websites to fool people into thinking they were ordering name-brand merchandise from established national companies.
Buying a franchise is a major financial commitment for consumers. The Franchise Rule was put in place to ensure consumers have key information to weigh the risks and benefits of their potential investment. As part of its ongoing regulatory review process, the FTC is hosting an online workshop, Reviewing the Franchise Rule, on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
1970 saw the ban of cigarette advertising on TV, the debut of Doonesbury, the inaugural flight of the Boeing 747, and the start of the New York City Marathon. Another notable 1970 first celebrating its 50th anniversary this week: the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the nation’s first consumer financial privacy statute. A review of 50 years of enforcement suggests that the law has been worth its weight in gold to consumers.
Whether it’s a bogus message claiming your trademarks are about to expire unless you transfer money immediately or threats to ruin your credit if you don’t pay for unordered office supplies, scammers have small businesses in their sights. You can help the FTC and its partners fight fraud and you don’t even need to wear a superhero cape (unless you want to). Your story is your superpower. When you tell the FTC about frauds, scams, and other kinds of bad B2B practices, you’re helping the FTC and our law enforcement partners spot and stop scams.
Pardon our pride, but we’re delighted to report that the most recent recipient of the Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership is Lois Greisman, Associate Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Ohioans know how to handle the virtually impossible.
“UNLIMITED Minutes.” “UNLIMITED TALK.” “‘UNLIMITED MINUTES’ We do not charge ‘per-minute’.” Those are notable claims for anyone shopping for telecom services, including consumers who want to maintain family ties with relatives who are incarcerated.
If you saw an email from FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, it wasn’t. From him, that is. Scammers pretending to be him are emailing, though. They’re trying to trick you into turning over personal information, like your birth date and home address, which could help them scam you. So: if you get an email from the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission about getting money because of an inheritance or relief funds related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — or anything else — do not respond. Do not give out your personal information. But do hit “delete.”
Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. And possibly face criminal charges. That’s the message of Operation Corrupt Collector, a coast-to-coast crackdown by the FTC, three other federal agencies, and partners from 16 states.
What’s in a name? According to an FTC lawsuit filed in April, if you’re an outfit that uses the name “SBA Loan Program” – and you falsely claim to be an approved lender for the Small Business Administration’s coronavirus relief lending program – what’s in your name is deception. Under the terms of a settlement, that shady tactic stops right here, right now.
It’s National Small Business Week, a time set aside annually to salute American’s 30 million small businesses – companies that employ almost half of the country’s private sector workforce. The special focus this year is on the resilience and resolve of entrepreneurs and workers as they battle back against the impact of the pandemic.
Oh, what a tangled web they weave,
When with telemarketing scams they do deceive.
Data To Go: An FTC Workshop on Data Portability begins at 8:30 Eastern Time this morning, Tuesday, September 22, 2020.
Natives and fans heartily agree that “Cleveland Rocks!” That’s why the Federal Trade Commission and its Ohio partners are ready to roll with the next installment of Green Lights & Red Flags: FTC Rules of the Road for Business, set to make its online debut on October 29, 2020, from Cleveland.
Fundraiser Outreach Calling’s telephone pitches were persuasive. Generous Americans opened their hearts and wallets to fund personal care packs for hospitalized veterans, support services for women with breast cancer, “financial assistance for families of officers killed in the line of duty,” and other charitable programs – or so they thought.
In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, the FTC alleged that Online Trading Academy made unsubstantiated mega-bucks promises about their purported investment training programs. According to the complaint – and the defendants’ own data – for most OTA customers, the only time they saw big money was as it flew out of their hands and into the defendants’ pockets.
“Take out” takes on a whole new meaning when it involves your data. Consumers and industry members are giving more thought to the issue of data portability – the ability of consumers to move data (such as emails, contacts, calendars, financial information, health information, favorites, friends, or content posted on social media) from one service to another or to their own files. That’s the topic of a September 22, 2020, virtual event, Data To Go: An FTC Workshop on Data Portability.