Recently, the FTC sent hundreds of thousands of refund checks to people who bought the book The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About by pitchman Kevin Trudeau. Court decisions have established there wasn’t much truth in Mr. Trudeau’s advertising claims, but the story behind the law enforcement actions underscores one fundamental truth: the FTC’s commitment to effective order enforcement.
Online reviews and endorsements can be key to consumers’ decision-making. In fact, surveys show that over 70% of American consumers turn to online sources before making a purchase. Advertisers already should know about FTC principles for making sure that online reviews and endorsements are honest and not misleading.
If you’d like details about how the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act was amended to recalculate penalties using a formula based on the percentage by which the Department of Labor’s October 2015 Consumer Price Index exceeds the Index for October in the year in which the penalty was enacted or last adjusted by law, the FTC has issued a Federal Register Notice explaining it.
The FTC just announced a partial settlement with Volkswagen Group of America that will return as much as $10 billion to owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars. As the largest false advertising case in FTC history, it’s a record-breaking win for consumers – and it’s in keeping with the law-breaking nature of the deception the FTC alleged in its lawsuit against VW.
The FTC told companies last fall about impending prohibitions under the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) on certain payment methods that legitimate telemarketing businesses don’t use, but con artists have been known to exploit: remotely-created checks, remotely-created payment orders, cash-to-cash transfers, and cash reload mechanisms.
It turns out the real estate people have been right all along. A settlement with InMobi, one of world’s largest mobile ad networks, suggests that for consumers, it really is about location, location, location – or at least honoring consumers’ location privacy preferences and not tracking them without permission. The case is the FTC’s first action against the operator of a mobile ad network.
Spoiler alert: If the villains in a thriller appear to be vanquished with 20 minutes left in the movie, you can bet they’ll make a dramatic reappearance. A case filed by the FTC targets a B2B tactic that small businesses started seeing years ago, but – to quote Poltergeist II – “They’re ba-ack.” And the defendants in the sequel have added what the FTC says is a bogus imposter angle.
Short of jumping into the Tardis to consult with intergalactic medical experts, how can consumers separate the hope from the hype when evaluating claims for health products? That’s where SmartClick Media’s “Doctor Trusted” website certification program claimed to help. But an FTC lawsuit alleges that the “Doctor Trusted” seal and the “Doctor Trusted.org Consumer Protection Certificate” weren’t to be trusted.
For swimmers struggling to stay afloat, imagine this good news/bad news scenario. The good news: Someone throws a life preserver in your direction. The bad news: It’s made of concrete. According to an FTC lawsuit, that’s a rough analogy to the services that Damian Kutzner, Brookstone Law, Advantis Law, attorney Vito Torchia, Jr., and others offered to consumers caught in the undertow of foreclosure.
Hog butcher for the world,
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Leader in mobile and a national tech hub.
Appearing as Inspector Harry Callahan, Clint Eastwood added a famous phrase to the lexicon. As a suspect pondered his next move, Callahan invited him to consider the consequences of his actions: “You’ve got to ask yourself this question: Do I feel lucky?
FinTech is the latest word in emerging financial technology and the FTC’s FinTech Forum will offer the latest word on the latest word. The topic for today’s half-day conference is marketplace lending – nonbank financial platforms that use technology to reach potential borrowers, evaluate creditworthiness, and facilitate loans. Can’t participate in person? Watch the webcast from the FinTech event page.
Combine two of the most talked-about consumer protection topics – health privacy and consumer-generated online content – and what do you get? A proposed FTC settlement with Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health records company in the country, and six compliance tips for others in the industry.
We loved Scooby-Doo as much as the next person, but each episode seemed to end the same way. Just when Shaggy, Fred, Velma, and Daphne nabbed the culprit, he took off a mask to disclose his identity – or so we thought until he removed yet another mask to reveal who he really was.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. The Italian Job. The Lords of the Rings. The quest for gold is a common theme in action films. But for many consumers who sent money to Encino, California-based Discount Gold Brokers, a lawsuit filed by the FTC alleges that the adventure has turned into a horror movie.
The FCC asked – and we answered. Underway at the Federal Communications Commission is a proposed privacy rulemaking for broadband internet access service providers. The FCC sought public comment on the proposal and the staff of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has offered its perspectives.
You want to build data security into your product development pipeline, but what concrete steps should you take to put that into practice? You could sit down over coffee with executives from Fortune 500 companies, innovative start-ups, and leading security firms to download their expertise, but the cost could be substantial in time, access, and caffeine. The FTC has a better idea.
Looking for a loan? For consumers and small businesses, that used to mean a foray into the paneled offices of something with “First National” in the name and hushed conversations with a guy who looks like the moneybags man on the “Monopoly” board. But the emergence of marketplace lending is changing the face of credit.
The FTC just posted a new list and you’ll want to make sure you don’t land on it.
It’s a list of hundreds of companies and individuals banned from the debt relief business.
For companies that peddle phony student loan debt relief, we have a message for you: Winter is coming.