(WASHINGTON) SCAM ALERT: FTC REPORT: Government imposters may have hit a new low with a scheme that targets the grieving survivors of people who died of #COVID19 by offering them help paying for their loved one’s funeral expenses.

#AceNewsReport – Apr.15: The program is open to American citizens, nationals of U.S. territories, and non-citizens legally admitted to the United States, regardless of income. If you apply, you’ll need to show documents including receipts for your expenses and a death certificate that says the death happened in the United States or its territories and was likely caused by #COVID19.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Scammers target loved ones of #COVID19 victims: ‘A real government relief program will pay up to $9,000 for funeral expenses that people have paid since January 20, 2020 for loved ones who died of COVID-19. Survivors can apply for benefits by contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 844-684-6333.The number is toll-free and multi-lingual services are available’

The program just began yesterday, but even before it started, FEMA said it had reports of scammers contacting people and “offering” to register them for assistance.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • FEMA will not contact you until you have called FEMA or have applied for assistance. Anyone who contacts you out of the blue and claims to be a federal employee or from FEMA is a scammer.
  • The government won’t ask you to pay anything to get this financial help. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • The government won’t call, text, email, or contact you on social media and ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • Don’t give your own or your deceased loved one’s personal or financial information to anyone who contacts you out of the blue. Anyone who does that and asks for that information is a scammer.

FEMA’s Funeral Assistance FAQs have information about the documents you need to apply for funeral expenses. The FAQs also tell you what to do if the death certificate didn’t identify COVID-19 as the likely cause of death, as sometimes happened early in the pandemic.

If you doubt a caller claiming to be from FEMA is telling the truth, hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Tell us too, at ReportFraud.ftc.gov

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Apr.15: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#ftc, #scam-alert, #washington

(WASHINGTON) Press Release FTC Statement Report: Beam Financial operator is banned from mobile banking and must provide full refunds as part of the settlement #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.30: The operator of a mobile banking app will be banned from offering such services and must give full refunds to users as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations the company falsely promised users they would have “24/7” access to their funds and earn high interest rates on their accounts.

‘Mobile Banking App Settles FTC Allegations that It Misled Users about Access to Funds and Interest Rates’

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Published: March 29, 2021: For Release

In a complaint first announced in November 2020, the FTC alleged that Beam Financial Inc. and its founder and CEO, Yinan Du, also known as Aaron Du, promised users of Beam’s free mobile banking app that they could make transfers out of their accounts and would receive their requested funds within three to five business days. In fact, some users waited weeks or months to receive their money, which was particularly difficult for users who were struggling with lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FTC alleged.

“People taking a financial hit from the pandemic may need 24/7 access to their savings, which is exactly what Beam Financial promised and didn’t deliver,” said Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The message here is simple for mobile banking apps and similar services: Don’t lie about your customers’ ability to get their money when they need it.”

Beam also failed to give users the high interest rates the company promised, the FTC alleged. Beam repeatedly claimed that users would receive at least 0.2 percent or 1.0 percent, but many new users received a much lower interest rate of 0.04 percent and stopped earning any interest after requesting that Beam return their funds, according to the complaint.

As part of the settlement, Beam is banned from operating a mobile banking app or any other product or service that can be used to deposit, store, or withdraw funds. It also is prohibited from misrepresenting the interest rates, restrictions, and other aspects of any financial product or service. 

In addition, full refunds, including interest, must be provided to all of Beam’s customers, and Beam must periodically update the FTC on its refund efforts, including identifying any consumer complaints. It also is prohibited from benefitting from any personal information collected from customers.

The Commission vote approving the stipulated final order was 3-1, with Commissioner Rohit Chopra voting no. The FTC filed the proposed orderin the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. 

NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force of law only when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and to protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and report scams, fraud, and bad business practices online at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, get consumer alerts, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Mar.30: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#ftc, #washington

Two Renown Health Acquisitions Gave it 88 Percent of the Cardiology Market

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In late 2010, Renown Health agreed to acquire SNCA’s medical practice and hire its 15 cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Before this, Renown Health did not employ any cardiologists, and the acquisition positioned it as a direct competitor of RHP. In March 2011, Renown Health acquired RHP and hired its 16 Reno-area cardiologists. According to the FTC’s complaint, other than the physicians associated with SNCA and RHP, there are very few cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Accordingly, the FTC alleged, competition for adult cardiology services was effectively eliminated.

In addition, the contracts between Renown Health and the newly hired cardiologists included “non-compete” provisions, which effectively prevented them from joining medical practices that competed with Renown Health. As a result of the acquisitions and non-compete clauses, the FTC contends, Renown Health currently employs 88 percent of the cardiologists in the Reno area.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Renown Health’s acquisitions of SNCA’s and RHP’s medical practices created a highly concentrated market for the provision of adult cardiology services in the Reno area, in violation of federal law. The complaint alleges that the consolidation of the competing practices into a single cardiology group controlled by Renown Health led to the elimination of competition based on price, quality, and other terms. In addition, according to the complaint, the consolidation increased the bargaining power that Renown Health has with insurers, and this may lead to higher prices for adult cardiology services in the Reno area.

Renown Health, the largest provider of acute care hospital services in northern Nevada, will release its staff cardiologists from “non-compete” contract clauses, allowing up to 10 of them to join competing cardiology practices. Renown Health has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its recent acquisitions of two local cardiology groups reduced competition for the provision of adult cardiology services in the Reno area.

Renown Health, based in Reno, Nevada, operates general acute care hospitals and commercial health plans serving the Reno area. Before the recent acquisitions, virtually all of the cardiologists in the Reno area were affiliated with two medical groups – Sierra Nevada Cardiology Associates (SNCA) and Reno Heart Physicians (RHP).

In late 2010, Renown Health agreed to acquire SNCA’s medical practice and hire its 15 cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Before this, Renown Health did not employ any cardiologists, and the acquisition positioned it as a direct competitor of RHP. In March 2011, Renown Health acquired RHP and hired its 16 Reno-area cardiologists. According to the FTC’s complaint, other than the physicians associated with SNCA and RHP, there are very few cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Accordingly, the FTC alleged, competition for adult cardiology services was effectively eliminated.

In addition, the contracts between Renown Health and the newly hired cardiologists included “non-compete” provisions, which effectively prevented them from joining medical practices that competed with Renown Health. As a result of the acquisitions and non-compete clauses, the FTC contends, Renown Health currently employs 88 percent of the cardiologists in the Reno area.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Renown Health’s acquisitions of SNCA’s and RHP’s medical practices created a highly concentrated market for the provision of adult cardiology services in the Reno area, in violation of federal law. The complaint alleges that the consolidation of the competing practices into a single cardiology group controlled by Renown Health led to the elimination of competition based on price, quality, and other terms. In addition, according to the complaint, the consolidation increased the bargaining power that Renown Health has with insurers, and this may lead to higher prices for adult cardiology services in the Reno area.

Program’s Numerous Safeguards Make It Unlikely to Harm Competition:

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition staff has issued an advisory opinion letter, in response to a request from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), stating that the staff will not recommend a challenge to an initiative intended to help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration respond to the unprecedented increase in shortages of critically important medications.

The proposed program, called the Accelerated Recovery Initiative (ARI), would provide the FDA with information that GPhA believes will enable the FDA staff “more efficiently and effectively to accelerate the recovery of critical drugs in short supply.” The staff letter explains that a key element of the ARI is an agreement among drug manufacturers to pool competitively sensitive production information about shortage drugs. As a result, the ARI would raise substantial antitrust concerns if this information were shared among competitors, because such information could facilitate collusion among drug manufacturers.

However, the advisory opinion states, “GPhA has designed the program to safeguard competitively sensitive information” and “to limit the potential that the ARI might result in harm to competition.” Among other things, the letter notes, GPhA has selected an independent third-party to collect and transmit the data to the FDA, and no other party – including GPhA – will have access to the information or any analysis derived from it. In addition, the advisory opinion states, the ARI includes other features intended to minimize the risk that the program would facilitate collusion among drug manufacturers or cause other harm to competition, such as requiring binding commitments on ARI participants not to use the program for anticompetitive ends.

In light of all these safeguards, the FTC staff concludes that the proposed ARI program is unlikely to harm competition. Therefore, the staff has no present intention to recommend an enforcement action to challenge the program, “if it is implemented as described and the safeguards it contains are adhered to in practice.”

#cardiology, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #nevada, #reno, #reno-nevada, #renown-health, #snca

FTC Seeks Comments on Additional Proposed Revisions to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

Privowiki main page screenshot

Privowiki main page screenshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FTC Seeks Comments on Additional Proposed Revisions to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

Children’s On-line Privacy Protection Rule has not changed since 1999 and this will be the first real overall of the system.

With the rise of social media ever on our mind it has become a matter of not just how ,we protect our children! But the fact we must at all costs shield them from the type of people who will at any cost, exploit their social appetite for such sites as Facebook and the like!

As the rise of social media has grown to obtain every extra morsel of information about our lives, it has led to many cases of children being exploited for gain! As in the past we have moaned and tried to stop our children consuming sugary drinks or eating quick snacks and we failed.

This time it is different and we must act now and l welcome any changes that will strengthen this act and provide a way to protect their fragile minds!

This time we must not fail them, they are our future!

via FTC Seeks Comments on Additional Proposed Revisions to Children’s On-line Privacy Protection Rule.

#child, #children, #childrens-online-privacy-protection-act, #coppa, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #httpwww-facebook-comacedebtnews, #internet-privacy, #personally-identifiable-information, #privacy, #security, #social-media