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In December 2019, the FTC announced The University of Phoenix and its parent company agreed to pay a record $191 million to resolve allegations that they used deceptive advertisements falsely touting their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and The American Red Cross. The settlement order requires UOP to pay $50 million in cash, as well as cancel $141 million in debts owed to the school by students harmed by the deceptive ads.
In March 2021, the FTC sent payments totaling nearly $50 million to more than 147,000 UOP students who may have been lured by allegedly deceptive advertisements.
In late September 2023, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will forgive nearly $37 million in federal loans for more than 1,200 students affected by the University of Phoenix’s deceptive practices, based in part on the FTC’s 2019 case.
The Federal Trade Commission took action against payment processing company First American Payment Systems and two of its sales affiliates for targeting small- and medium-sized businesses. The FTC alleges that the defendants made false claims about fees and cost savings to lure merchants, many of whom had limited English proficiency. Once merchants were enrolled, the defendants withdrew funds from their accounts without their consent, and made it difficult and expensive for them to cancel the service. Under a proposed federal court order, the defendants will be required to return $4.9 million to harmed businesses, stop their deception, and make it easier for merchants to cancel their services.
FTC and 18 States Sue to Stop Harris Jewelry from Cheating Military Families with Illegal Financing and Sales Tactics
The Federal Trade Commission and a group of 18 states sued national jewelry retailer Harris Jewelry to stop the company from cheating military families with illegal financing and sales practices. According to the complaint, the jewelry company deceptively claimed that financing jewelry purchases through Harris would raise servicemembers’ credit scores, misrepresented that its protection plans were not optional or were required, and added the plans to purchases without consumers’ consent. The complaint also includes a charge that the jewelry company violated the Military Lending Act, the FTC’s first action under this Act.
Protecting Military Servicemembers and Veterans from Financial Scams and Fraud: Prepared Statement of the Federal Trade Commission Before the House Subcommittee on National Security
Dissenting Statement of Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson Regarding the Issuance of Two Omnibus Compulsory Process Resolutions
FTC Streamlines Consumer Protection and Competition Investigations in Eight Key Enforcement Areas to Enable Higher Caseload
Statement of Commissioner Chopra Regarding Law Enforcement Authorizations to Protect Military Families
FTC Sends Nearly $30 Million in Refunds to People Tricked into Enrolling by School Operator’s Lead Generators
Career Education Corporation (CEC) and its subsidiaries, American InterContinental University, Inc., AIU Online, LLC, Marlin Acquisition Corporation, Colorado Technical University, Inc., and Colorado Tech., Inc. (collectively, CEC), has been ordered to pay $30 million to the FTC to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the operator used sales leads from lead generators that falsely told consumers they were affiliated with the U.S. military, and that used other unlawful tactics to generate leads. CEC’s lead generators also induced consumers to submit their information under the guise of providing job or benefits assistance. The FTC also charged that CEC’s lead generators falsely told consumers that their information would not be shared, and that both CEC and its lead generators illegally called consumers registered on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.
The Federal Trade Commission is sending nearly $30 million in refunds to people tricked by agents working on behalf of Career Education Corporation (currently operating as Perdoceo Education Corporation), the operator of several post-secondary schools.
Active Duty Servicemembers are More likely to Report Identity Theft than Other Adults, New FTC Data Shows
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