FTC Blogs

Emissions modifications for some Volkswagens and Audis

In October 2016, a federal judge ordered Volkswagen to compensate people who own or lease certain Volkswagens or Audis with 2.0-liter TDI-engines. Through September 1, 2018, current owners can apply for a buyback from Volkswagen, and current lessees can apply for lease terminations. Or — if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorizes an approved emission modification (AEM) for their type of car — owners and lessees can have their cars modified and get an AEM payment instead of doing a buyback or lease termination.

Upromise?

If you make promises to consumers, you must honor them – and if you sign an FTC order, you must comply with it. That’s the lesson learned by Upromise, a college savings website, which must pay $500,000 for violating its existing FTC order.

Not familiar with Upromise? It offers free memberships that allow consumers to earn cash-back rewards on certain purchases. Members can direct those rewards to a college savings plan or to pay down student loans.

Don't bank on that check

Scammers know how to design phony checks to make them look legitimate. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ just released a list of the most “risky” scams, based on how likely people are to be targeted, how likely to lose money, and how much money they lost. Fake checks were number two.

Loveseats, lilies, and licensing: Economic liberty opens doors to opportunity

Should the government spend its time protecting consumers from ugly throw pillows or droopy floral arrangements? Should the government force an African hair-braiding expert to also study makeup application or nail art in order to work? Should a job-seeking military spouse be expected to comply with a whole new set of licensing requirements—and pay a hefty fee—every single time the family relocates to a different state?

FTC alleges company’s practices are “patently” deceptive

Threats of imprisonment, warnings about extortion, and a security team allegedly comprised of ex-Israeli Special Ops trained in Krav Maga? It sounds like an action-packed movie plot, but it’s all related to a complaint filed by the FTC. And you’ll never guess the nature of the defendants’ business.

They sell patent and invention promotion services – or at least that’s what defendants World Patent Marketing, Desa Industries, and CEO Scott Cooper claim.

Some invention-promotion firms do nothing for you

Are you ready to patent and market an invention? If so, you may be looking for help – and bogus invention-promotion firms may be looking for you. Today, the FTC announced that it filed a lawsuit against two companies and their owner for running an invention-promotion scam that took thousands of dollars from people and, in many cases, stole their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.

New video on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and the FTC

Businesses often ask: “If I comply with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, am I complying with what the FTC requires?” Maybe you read our blog explaining how the NIST Cybersecurity Framework relates to the FTC’s work on data security? Now, check out this related video featuring Andrea Arias, an attorney in the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.