FTC Blogs


You know what would go great with your pumpkin spiced treats this October? Cyber security! Okay, now that I have your attention, October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to be #CyberAware. There are plenty of ways to participate.

Gagging rights? FTC case challenges diet claims and company’s use of consumer gag clauses

The FTC has gone to court hundreds of times to stop allegedly misleading weight loss claims and Roca Labs’ “gastric bypass alternative” promises are no exception. But other parts of the complaint – including a count challenging the defendants’ use of consumer gag clauses as an unfair practice – warrant a careful reading.

If you can’t say something nice about this weight loss product…

Consider this scenario: a company promises you its products will provide unbelievable results. But if you decide to write a negative review about your experience, the company says you owe it as much as three times what you originally paid.  That’s how it worked with Roca Labs, the FTC says — only it was the company’s weight loss claims that were unbelievable.

Fla-Grant lies

Growing up, we all learned that money doesn’t grow on trees. Here’s another hard truth: the federal government is not giving away thousands of dollars in grants to people who pay their taxes on time, have no criminal records, never declared bankruptcy or were ‘selected in a demographic survey.' Anyone who claims you’ll get ‘free money’ for those reasons is trying to scam you.

Scam-spotting help for recent refugees

People who’ve recently arrived in the US have a lot of adjustments to make. For many refugees and immigrants, and some of the social services groups who help them, the basics come first: figuring out language, food, shelter, and work. Understanding how to avoid fraud isn’t high on the list – until a scam finds a recent arrival. That’s why the FTC has created new materials to help refugees and immigrants spot, avoid and report scams. We worked closely with the International Rescue Committee to create a short handbook to help anyone identify a sure sign of a scam.

No runs, no hits, three errors

Baseball lore has it that Hall of Famer Ted Williams’ eyesight was so acute he could see the seams on a fastball. Developers of an app called Ultimeyes claimed that using their product “gives baseball players superhuman vision.” For some of us though, a daily task like reading a menu in a dimly lit restaurant is a swing and a miss. No problem, said the company. “25 minutes on this app will improve your vision by 31%” – results supposedly verified by a published university study.