Law enforcers hate ‘em, legitimate businesses hate ‘em, and consumers — well, they really hate ‘em: unauthorized charges that show up on people’s cell phone bills. It’s called mobile cramming and The Good Guys are united in finding answers to the problem.
Blog Posts Tagged with Credit and Finance
The FTC is always working to know more about the types of fraud being committed and who spends money on them. Periodically, we survey consumers and ask them to share details about their recent marketplace experiences and a bit about themselves. Our most recent survey found that nearly 11% of U.S. adults — an estimated 25.6 million people — paid for fraudulent products and services in 2011.
We can’t figure out why Hollywood hasn’t returned our call, but here's a great idea for an action movie. FTC attorneys go to court to stop a company from illegally billing people for text message-based subscription services they never asked for and didn’t authorize. We even have a can’t-miss title: Crambo.
Paper, Plastic, . . . Mobile? The question isn’t about how you bag your groceries — it’s about how you pay for them. Are you going to use cold hard cash?
“Payment processing” used to involve standing in the checkout line and handing the cashier your pennies. (Remember checkout lines? Remember cashiers? Remember pennies?) In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the FTC alleges that Ideal Financial Solutions and more than a dozen individual and corporate defendants used an “intricate web of concealment” to game the payment processing system in a way that resulted in more than $25 million in unauthorized credit card charges and bank account debits.
No, not the cherubic child star on reality TV. We’re talking about the serious repercussions of American Tax Relief's misleading claims about substantially reducing what consumers owed in taxes — and major mistakes some businesses make when it comes to the financial consequences of deception. A look at the settlement offers insights into the breadth of remedies available for violations of the FTC Act and related rules.
The Hobby Protection Act is something of a misnomer. Most hobbies don’t need much by way of protection. But if you or your clients are involved in the sale of coins or certain collectibles, it’s a law you need to know about. The FTC’s settlement with the National Collector’s Mint and Avram C. Freedberg alleges violations of the Hobby Protection Act — and also raises interesting issues about how the company’s automated ordering system compounded other deceptive practices challenged in the case.
A sure way to see smoke coming out of consumers’ ears: Put charges on their phone bills for services they never ordered and didn’t authorize. In a lawsuit just filed against Montana-based American eVoice, Steven Sann, and others, that’s what the FTC says is going on.
Here’s a first for you: The FTC has released a series of ads created by its own staff and boy, are they bad. No, we’re not channeling our inner Sterling Cooper Mad Men. The goal is to help companies comply with their legal obligations by showing some of the questionable mortgage-related claims likely to cause law enforcement — and consumer — heartburn.
Let’s cut to the chase, Girlfriend. You’re one annoying you-know-what. And according to multiple lawsuits filed by the FTC, those robocalls you’re placing are big-time illegal.
You’ve heard the truisms. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never play cards with a guy named Doc. We’ve got another one for you: Think twice before doing business with a company called Legitimate Debt Settlement.
The charges outlined in the FTC’s lawsuits against a software business and seven rent-to-own companies are surprising — and OK, some might say a little creepy. Software on rented computers gave the companies the ability to hit the kill switch if people were behind on their payments. But according to the complaints, it also let them collect sensitive personal information, grab screen shots, and take webcam photos of people in their homes.
"Hey, I've never met you.
So don't get clever.
That's my number.
Robocall me never."
There are lots of good reasons for infomercial marketers and other retailers to abide by truth-in-advertising principles. But for people who insist on a dollars-and-cents rationale, the Court-ordered $478 million price tag for violations related to national ads for money-making systems makes legal compliance look like a bargain.
If you’ve been following the ongoing story of the FTC’s law enforcement action stemming from Neovi, Inc.'s Qchex check-writing system, the Court’s recent contempt ruling will make for interesting reading. If those names aren’t familiar to you — and you have clients in the payments arena — it’s time to get up to speed.
“I just want to say one word to you, Benjamin. Plastics.”
During the cocktail party scene in the classic movie “The Graduate,” that’s the advice Ben Braddock got for mapping out his future. It wasn’t such a bad tip after all since so much stuff — including the pocket money we use for day-to-day expenditures — has gone plastic.
How would you like to listen in when federal agencies talk to each other about policies that could have an impact on your company? If your business is breaking into the mobile marketplace, lend an ear.
Never underestimate the creativity of marketers attempting to separate cash-strapped consumers from their last dollar. And never underestimate the FTC’s resolve to protect people from deception in tough economic times. Those are just two points to take from recent FTC law enforcement actions.
At the BCP Business Center, we offer tips on how to stay on the right side of the law. But we also do our best to spread the word about the latest frauds targeting businesses — and this one’s a piece of work. If your company accepts checks or online payments, you’ll want to be on the look-out for a scam that could leave you with a stack of worthless paper.
We've done a little renovating around the BCP Business Center. Nothing major like adding a rumpus room or finishing the basement. Just a few updates in response to your suggestions.