(WASHINGTON) FTC REPORT: In a Vote of 3-2 they agree to ‘Streamlining Consumer Protection & Competition Investigations in Eight Key Enforcement Areas to Enable Higher Caseload’ #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.16: At the joint recommendation from its Bureau of Consumer Protection and Bureau of Competition, the Federal Trade Commission voted to approve and make public a series of resolutions that will enable agency staff to efficiently and expeditiously investigate conduct in core FTC priority areas over the next ten years.

#AceDailyNews reports that The Bureaus recommended that the Commission authorize eight new compulsory process resolutions in these essential areas: (1) Acts or Practices Affecting United States Armed Forces Service Members and Veterans; (2) Acts or Practices Affecting Children; (3) Bias in Algorithms and Biometrics; (4) Deceptive and Manipulative Conduct on the Internet; and (5) Repair Restrictions. (6) Abuse of Intellectual Property; (7) Common Directors and Officers and Common Ownership; and (8) Monopolization Offences….

September 14, 2021

“These resolutions enable the FTC to take swift action against a whole host of illegal conduct in important areas of concern to the Commission,” said Holly Vedova, Acting Director of the Bureau of Competition. She noted that, “Companies engaging in conduct implicated by these resolutions should be forewarned: the FTC looks forward to aggressively using these resolutions and will not hesitate to take action against illegal conduct to the fullest extent possible under the law.”

“Harmful practices – especially those targeting children, veterans, and marginalized communities – will not be tolerated by this Commission,” said Samuel Levine, Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Today’s resolutions ensure our staff can rapidly respond to allegations of abuse and fight fraud without delay.”  

Specifically, the resolutions approved by a Commission vote of 3-2 will allow:

  • Service members and Veterans: harmful business practices directed at service members and veterans are a source of significant public concern, and, now, FTC staff will be able to expeditiously investigate any allegations in this important area. 
  • Children under 18: harmful conduct directed at children under 18 has been a source of significant public concern, now, FTC staff will similarly be able to expeditiously investigate any allegations in this important area. 
  • Algorithmic and Biometric Bias: allows staff to investigate allegations of bias in algorithms and biometrics. Algorithmic bias was the subject of a recent FTC blog
  • Deceptive and Manipulative Conduct on the Internet: this omnibus expands a previous omnibus resolution on deceptive practices, which expired on Aug. 1. The existing resolution, has enabled the FTC to develop investigations and bring cases in a variety of areas including day trading services, tech support scams,  the BOTS Act,  payment processing,  and the deceptive marketing of goods and services online, including pandemic-related goods like fake Clorox products and face masks. In addition to the areas covered by the existing resolution, this expanded version covers the “manipulation of user interfaces,” including but not limited to dark patterns, also the subject of a recent FTC workshop
  • Repair Restrictions: enhances the FTC’s ongoing investigations into restrictions on repair and builds on the FTC’s recent Policy Statement on Right to Repair.  It would cover a wide range of anti-consumer and anti-competitive abuses and facilitate staff’s impending investigation of violations of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act’s anti-tying provisions.
  • Abuse of Intellectual Property: allows staff to investigate abuses of intellectual property rights. Conduct involving abuse of intellectual property rights has been a source of much anticompetitive and deceptive conduct in many different areas, including pharmaceuticals, technology and gasoline refining, and this omnibus will allow staff to expeditiously investigate allegations in this area. 
  • Common Director and Officers and Common Ownership: facilitates investigations of both ownership stakes in competing companies that may be anticompetitive as well as interlocking directorates that may violate Section 8 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 19. Interlocking directorates and common ownership continue to raise significant competitive concerns.
  • Monopolistic Practices: Market power abuses by tech companies and other large companies are rightly a source of bipartisan concern. This omnibus will allow staff to more expeditiously investigate market power abuses by dominant firms that are precluding businesses and entrepreneurs from being able to compete, particularly in digital markets.  

Compulsory process refers to the issuance of demands for documents and testimony, through the use of civil investigative demands and subpoenas. The FTC Act authorizes the Commission to use compulsory process in its investigations. Compulsory process requires the recipient to produce information, and these orders are enforceable by courts. Civil investigative demands and subpoenas are assigned to a Commissioner for review and authorization by the FTC’s Office of Secretary, typically on a rotating basis or according to availability. The Commission has routinely adopted compulsory process resolutions on a wide range of topics. The resolutions announced today will broaden the ability for FTC investigators and prosecutors to obtain evidence in critical investigations on key areas where the FTC’s work can make the most impact. Each omnibus covers investigations into competition or consumer protection conduct violations under the FTC Act. 

Streamlining and improving efficiency at the agency is vitally important given the increased volume of investigatory work created by the surge in merger filings. Having already doubled between 2010 and 2020, the number of mergers filed with the antitrust authorities this year hit a record-setting pace of 2,067 acquisitions for the first seven months alone.  With these resolutions in place, the FTC can better utilize its limited resources and move forward in earnest to quickly investigate potential misconduct. The Bureaus are now authorized to take steps to ensure that any compulsory process orders are enforceable.

Chair Khan and Commissioner Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter voted yes, and Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson voted no. Chair Khan and Commissioner Slaughter issued a statement. Commissioner Chopra issued a separate statement. Commissioners Wilson and Phillips issued a dissenting statement.

The vote to make the omnibus resolutions public was 5-0….

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

#AceNewsDesk report …Published: Sept.16: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: 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

#consumer, #ftc, #protection, #washington

(WASHINGTON) FTC REPORT: SpyFone barred from selling stalking apps that secretly monitor phone activity #AceNewDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Sept.04: Stalkerware apps can give an abuser secret access to their target’s location, phone conversations, text and email messages, and photos. Some can even take pictures, turn on the microphone to record calls, and send commands by text to make the phone vibrate or ring.

#AceDailyNews says that phone monitoring apps designed to avoid detection by the owner of the phone don’t just invade your privacy — they make it possible for stalkers and domestic abusers to track the location of the person they are targeting in real-time.

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC: September 1, 2021: Alvaro Puig

The FTC sued a stalkerware app company Support King, LLC, which operated as SpyFone.com, and its CEO Scott Zuckerman. SpyFone, the company’s app, allowed users to secretly track another person’s mobile device. The FTC says the company secretly harvested and shared data on people’s physical movements, phone use, and online activities through a hidden device hack. According to the FTC, SpyFone failed to ensure people were using the app for legitimate purposes and didn’t protect the information it collected, allowing stalkers or domestic abusers to stealthily track their potential targets and exposing device owners to hackers, identity thieves, and other cyber threats.

When sellers of so-called stalking apps don’t want the phone’s owner to discover the app, they do things to hide it. SpyFone, for example, gave users step-by-step instructions on how to disable notifications warning owners that their phones were being monitored. Once installed, the only trace of the app would appear in the phone’s settings — but it was called “System Service,” making it hard for owners to discover.

If you suspect that someone abusive is secretly monitoring your phone, your first instinct may be to uninstall the app. But that can tip off the abuser. Before you uninstall the app, talk with a domestic violence counselor to make a safety plan and discuss whether you should get help from law enforcement. You may also need to check if your phone was jailbroken. In some cases, it might be safest to get a new phone.

Learn more about the steps to consider if you think there’s a stalking app installed on your phone. And do what’s best in your particular situation.

Wondering if there’s a stalking app on your phone? Here are some signs to look for.

signs that suggest a stalking app could have been installed on your phone

For more information, check out the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s technology safety tips. For more help contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at thehotline.org or 1-800-799-SAFE.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Sept.04: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: 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, #spyware, #washington

(WASHINGTON) FTC REPORT: SCAM ALERT: Scammers are impersonating FTC Chair Lina Khan in a new phishing scheme. The email says the FTC wants to send you #Coronavirus relief funds and tells you to send some personal information, like your name, address, and date of birth #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.22: Scammers are impersonating FTC Chair Lina Khan in a new phishing scheme. The email says the FTC wants to send you Coronavirus relief funds and tells you to send some personal information, like your name, address, and date of birth. The FTC is not distributing Coronavirus economic stimulus or relief money to people.

#AceDailyNews report on WARNING: Email from FTC Chair Lina Khan about #Coronavirus money is fake the email is a scam……….

Don’t reply …….ReportFraud.ftc.gov and forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. (If scammers contact you by text message or phone, report that, too.) …..BE ALERT ….friends, readers and followers and BE SAFE

‘PLEASE SHARE THANKS’

August 19, 2021 By Alvaro Puig Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

If you get an unexpected email that asks you to reply – or call or click a link – to give somebody personal or financial information, don’t. It’s probably a phishing scam trying to steal your money.

Report the phishing email to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. (If scammers contact you by text message or phone, report that, too.)

Report fraud, scams, and bad business practices

Scammers lie and make up fake stories to rip people off. Learn how to recognize and avoid other phishing scams.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.22: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: 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

#alert, #ftc, #scam, #washington

(WASHINGTON) FTC Press Release Statement Report: Refunds checks totalling $350,000 will be made to those consumers who purchased ‘Willow Curve Devices’ #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.04: The Federal Trade Commission is sending refund checks totaling more than $350,000 to consumers who bought Willow Curve, a device that applies low-level light and, according to the agency, was deceptively advertised as an effective way to relieve pain.

#AceDailyNews reports on ‘Refunds Coming to Consumers Who Bought Deceptively Marketed Willow Curve Device’ that purported to relieve pain according to the agency without scientific evidence to support these claims.

August 3, 2021

Willow Curve device.

According to an FTC complaint filed in June 2020, the defendants behind Willow Curve touted it as a “smart” device that was FDA-approved and “clinically proven” to relieve pain and reduce inflammation for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage, torn tendons and any number of other serious conditions, without scientific evidence to support these claims.

Explore Data with the FTC: Learn more about FTC refunds to consumers

Nearly 23,000 consumers are receiving $15.35 each through the settlement. Analytics, Inc., the refund administrator in this case, is mailing checks today. People who receive checks should deposit or cash them within 90 days, as indicated on the check. Consumers who have questions about their refunds should call Analytics at 1-855-479-2054.

The FTC’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of FTC refunds. In 2020, FTC actions led to more than $483 million in refunds to consumers across the country, but recently the United States Supreme Court ruled the FTC lacks authority under Section 13(b) to seek monetary relief in federal court going forward. The Commission has urged Congress to restore the FTC’s ability to get money back for consumers.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.04: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: 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

#consumers, #ftc, #washington

(WASHINGTON) Press Release FTC Report: On reaching an agreement alleging that Richard Berry orchestrated regional scheme to falsify consumer information on financing applications #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.30: When Berry’s auto dealerships falsified income and down payment information to qualify people for loans they couldn’t afford to pay back, they set people up for failure – including default, repossession, and ruined credit,” said Samuel Levine, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “That’s why the FTC sued Berry and his dealerships.”

#AceDailyNews reports on FTC Obtains $450,000 Settlement in Tate’s Auto Group: By reaching an agreement with Richard Berry, the owner and manager of a group of bankrupt auto dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico, to resolve charges that he and the dealerships deceived consumers and falsified information on vehicle financing applications. Many of the affected consumers were members of the Navajo Nation.

Press Release Reference: FTC Charges Auto Dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico with Falsifying Consumers’ Information on Financing Documents

July 29, 2021

The FTC reached an earlier settlement with the four dealerships: Tate’s Auto Center of Winslow, Tate’s Automotive, Tate Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, and Tate’s Auto Center of Gallup. If approved by the district court, the present settlement against Berry, would result in a $450,000 payment to the FTC and conclude the FTC’s case. The settlement also included a stipulated dismissal of relief defendant Linda Tate, which has been entered by the court. 

The FTC’s complaint, filed in August 2018, alleged that the defendants falsified consumers’ income and down payment information to get vehicles financed and engaged in unlawful advertising.  In an earlier ruling in the case, the judge found that the defendants violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) by failing to disclose legally required information in their advertisements.

In addition to the $450,000 payment, the proposed settlement prohibits Berry from misrepresenting information in documents associated with a consumer’s purchase, financing, or leasing of a motor vehicle, and misrepresenting the costs or any other material fact related to vehicle financing. The proposed order also requires Berry to provide consumers sufficient time to review and obtain a copy of the relevant vehicle financing documents and prohibits him from violating the TILA and CLA.   

The Commission vote approving the proposed stipulated order was 5-0. Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter issued a concurring statement. The proposed order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

NOTE: Stipulated final orders or injunctions, etc. have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

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

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: 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

#agreements, #finance, #ftc, #navajo, #new-mexico, #washington

(WASHINGTON) FTC Rejuvenation Pills Report: If you bought ReJuvenation and haven’t already gotten a check, here’s what you should know details below: #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.17: It’s easy to get your money. Just go to the Quantum Refunds bottom of this page and follow the instructions for filling out a claim. The deadline for filing claims is August 31, 2021. The average refund check has been about $113 dollars.

#AceDailyNews reports on case of those that bought ReJuvenation pills? Get your money back last year, the FTC reached a settlement agreement with makers of ReJuvenation and sent refund checks to people who bought this so-called “anti-aging” pill that claimed to be a cure-all for ailments including cell damage, heart attack damage, brain damage, and deafness:

NB: Once you get your check, deposit it right away since it will expire after 90 days.

July 15, 2021by

Maria Mayo 

Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer Response and Operations, FTC 

Also, please know that the only way these FTC refund checks will come to you is by postal mail. And you never have to pay to get a refund from the FTC. If someone contacts you and asks you to pay, or says they can help you get a refund, it’s a scam — report it to the FTC.

For more information about the ReJuvenation refunds, visit ftc.gov/ReJuvenation. And check out ftc.gov/refunds for more information on the FTC’s refund program.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.17: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: 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, #rejuvenation, #washington

(WASHINGTON) Press Release FTC REPORT: Charges Two Florida-based Companies with Helping Student Debt Relief Scammers #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.13: According to the FTC’s complaint, Moneta Management, LLC, Moneta Management, Inc., and their CEO Michael Todd Greene knowingly provided false or deceptive information to credit card and ACH processors to obtain merchant processing for the scam operated by Brandon Frere and his three companies.

#AceDailyNews reports that Frere and his companies reached a settlement with the FTC in November 2020 and also pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in 2019 and two Florida companies and their CEO will be permanently barred from offering payment-processing services to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that they aided a criminal student debt relief scam that bilked $62 million from thousands of students and their families.

FTC REPORT:

July 12, 2021

Greene and his companies submitted payment processing applications that concealed Frere’s scam, denied that Frere and his companies were offering consumers prohibited debt relief services, and ignored repeated warnings and direct evidence that Frere’s scam was defrauding consumers and violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, according to the complaint. The accounts that Greene and his companies helped create for Frere’s scam allowed the processing of credit card and debit payments from consumers.

As part of the settlement with the FTC, Greene and his two companies will be barred from payment processing, acting as a sales agent or independent sales organization, and from assisting and facilitating unfair and deceptive trade practices. The proposed final order also imposes a monetary judgment of $28.6 million on Greene and his companies, which will be partially suspended after payment of $20,493 due to their inability to pay the full amount. They will be required to pay the full amount if they are found to have misrepresented their finances.

The Commission voted 4-0-1 to file the complaint and proposed final order. Chair Lina Khan did not participate. The FTC filed the complaint and final order in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Court approved the final order on July 8, 2021.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final orders have the force of law 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.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: July.13: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: 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

#debt, #florida, #ftc, #scammers, #student, #washington

(WASHINGTON) FTC Blessings in NO Time (BINT) Report: Running an illegal ‘Pyramid Scheme’ Investment scheme #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.18: The Federal Trade Commission and the state of Arkansas sued the operators of a “blessing loom” investment program, alleging that it has operated as an illegal pyramid scheme that bilked tens of millions of dollars from thousands of consumers, and targeted African Americans and harmed people struggling financially during the #COVID19 #pandemic

‘FTC and the State of Arkansas Charge Operators of “Blessing Loom” With Running an Illegal Pyramid Scheme’

June 17, 2021:

In their joint complaint, the FTC and Arkansas charged that the operators of Blessings in No Time (“BINT”) have lured people into joining their program by falsely promising investment returns as high as 800 percent. The complaint alleges that some BINT members paid as much as $62,700 to participate. In reality, though, as in other pyramid schemes, the vast majority of participants have lost money, the complaint alleges.

“The COVID-19 pandemic attacked Americans’ health and their wallets,” said Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “These scammers, who specifically targeted Black communities, used false promises of wealth to deceive consumers out of money at a time that Americans could least afford to lose it.”

The complaint seeks to permanently enjoin BINT’s illegal operation and asks the court to award redress for injured consumers. The complaint also seeks to impose civil penalties on the defendants under Arkansas state law.

The complaint names as defendants the operators of BINT, Texas-based BINT Operations LLC, and its two co-founders, LaShonda Moore and her husband Marlon Moore.

The Moores began promoting BINT as early June 2020, according to the complaint. Like most blessing looms, BINT allegedly has coordinated payments (called “blessings”) between members using playing boards with different levels. The complaint alleges that, in one version of the defendants’ scheme, BINT’s playing board had four levels with 15 spots. Members on the second level were tasked with recruiting new participants to join their playing board on the first level. Once a board had been filled with new recruits and those recruits had paid the individual at the center of the playing board, the individual in the middle of the original board would be removed. The board would then be split into two new boards, and all remaining members would move up one level toward the center of the board, where they would then receive payments from new recruits. The complaint alleges that this process would repeat indefinitely, as illustrated below in the FTC’s graphic:

Graphic: The Operation of BINT's Blessing Loom

The Operation of BINT’s Blessing Looms

The operators of BINT have required a minimum of $1,400 to participate in the program, but told members that they could earn greater revenue by contributing more money and recruiting additional members, the complaint states.

The defendants have primarily targeted African American communities through their scheme, according to the complaint. The complaint states that BINT’s website describes BINT as  a new type of investing or fundraising that would permit members achieve financial freedom and to “do everything from pay[ing] for your own surgery to fulfill[ing] a student’s dream of attending college—and so much more.” In promoting BINT, the defendants have also described it as a community-oriented program where members would work together to help each other achieve financial success, according to the complaint. The complaint also alleges the defendants assured participants they would not lose money and could withdraw at any time and receive a full refund.

In reality, the complaint alleges, BINT is structured as a pyramid scheme. The supposed investment returns BINT has promised to participants were merely funds paid by other members. BINT’s pyramid structure requires that it grow perpetually and exponentially because, for every member who received the promised payout, eight additional members had to pay into the scheme. No matter how many members receive the promised payout, many more members would necessarily lose money, the complaint notes.

Moreover, the defendants tried to hide their illegal activity by telling participants not to use certain payment apps or payment processors. The complaint also alleges that the defendants have illegally prohibited participants from posting truthful, non-defamatory reviews and other information about BINT on social media or the Internet.

The complaint charges that the defendants’ deceptive practices violated the FTC Act, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, and Arkansas state consumer protection laws.

The Commission vote approving the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the district court judge.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Jun.18: 2021:

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#bint, #ftc, #washington

(WASHINGTON) FTC SCAM REPORT: Scammers often disguise themselves as people working for the government and might pretend to offer help. But, really, they’re after your money or personal information #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.11: Scammers may say your tax returns must be done differently because of a name change — and they need your Social Security number to fix it. For recently married people, or someone going through gender reassignment and a name change, the excuses scammers use might make sense. But wait right there. Scammers are just phishing for personal information they can use to steal your identity or take your money:

SCAM ALERT: How to spot a government impersonator scam: For Pride Month, the FTC wants the LGBTQ+ community to know about government imposter scams and how to avoid them: Government imposters may call to “verify your Social Security number,” or say your Social Security number or Medicare benefits have been “suspended” due to a mix-up.

June 9, 2021by

Lisa Lake 

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC 

Pride Month social media image
FTC REPORT:

So how do you spot it and stop it? Here’s what to know:

  • Scammers call, email, or text you for money or information. But the government won’t. Anyone who calls, emails, or texts, asking for money or personal information and claims to be from the government is a scammer. Hang up and don’t respond to messages.
  • Scammers tell you how to pay — usually by wiring money, cryptocurrency, or gift card. Nobody legit will ever tell you to pay in any of those ways. If they call, hang up the phone. If they email, text, or message you, don’t click on any links. It’s a scam.
  • Even if your caller ID says it’s from the government, it could be a scam. Caller ID can be faked. Even if it shows the government agency’s real phone number, or even if it says something like “Social Security Administration,” it could be anyone calling from anywhere in the world. Don’t trust it.

If you spot a government imposter, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.11: 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

#alert, #ftc, #scam, #washington

(WASHINGTON) FTC REPORT: More than a year into the #pandemic, and months after the first rollout of #COVID19 vaccines, people are eager to get back to their regular activities #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.29: But some activities might require you to show that you’ve been vaccinated or had a recent negative #COVID19 test. How you do that may depend on the activity and where you live.

FTC SCAM ALERT: Scammers cash in on confusion over vaccine verification methods: Right now, there’s no standard way to prove you’ve been vaccinated or tested negative. Sure, there are those CDC #COVID19 vaccination cards people get when they get their vaccine.

May 28, 2021by

Colleen Tressler 

Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC 

But they were never designed to prove your vaccination status and they may not be enough. Some states, companies, colleges, and other organizations are creating their own verification products and services, including apps and digital passports or certificates. Some connect to state immunization databases while others rely on individual self-report. The patchwork approach gives scammers an opportunity to cash in on the confusion.

Besides not sharing your COVID-19 vaccination card online because of the risk for identity theft, here are a few other ways to help stay ahead of the scammers.

  • Be skeptical of anyone contacting you from the federal government. Right now, there are no official plans to create a national vaccine verification app or certificate or passport. If you get a call, email, or text from someone saying they’re from the federal government, and asking you for personal information or money to get a national vaccine certificate or passport, that’s a scam.
  • Check with airlines, cruise lines, and event venues about their requirements. Don’t rely on information from someone who calls, texts, or emails you out of the blue.
  • Contact your state government about its vaccine verification plans and requirements.
  • Don’t share your information with just anyone. Scammers often set up real-looking websites to sell fake goods and services, so why not vaccine verification certificates or passports? Before you share any information online, check out who’s asking for it. Search online for the company or organization’s name with words like “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” Think long and hard before you share personal information, like your Social Security, Medicare, credit card, or bank account numbers. Scammers can steal your information to commit fraud and identity theft.

If you know about a COVID-19 vaccine scam, tell the FTC about it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Or, file a complaint with your state or territory attorney general at consumerresources.org, the consumer website of the National Association of Attorneys General. 

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: May.29: 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

#alert, #cdc, #ftc, #scam, #vaccines, #washington

(AMERICA) FTC REPORT: Unwanted calls are annoying. They can feel like a constant interruption — and many are from scammers. Unfortunately, technology makes it easy for scammers to make millions of calls a day #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.14: Some of the most common unwanted calls the FTC sees currently include pretend Social Security Administration, Medicare, and IRS calls, fake Amazon or Apple Computer support calls, and fake auto warranty and credit card calls.

AMERICA: SCAM ALERT: Unwanted calls: Just block ’em and report ’em ……..So this week, as part of Older Americans Month, we’re talking about how to block unwanted calls — for yourself, and for your friends and family. To get started, check out this video:

May 12, 2021by

Jim Kreidler 

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC 

But no matter what type of unwanted calls you get (and everyone is getting them) your best defense is a good offense. Here are three universal truths to live by:

  • Don’t trust your caller ID
  • Hang up on robocalls
  • Use call blocking

Visit FTC.gov/calls to learn to block calls on your cell phone and home phone. 

The FTC continues to go after the companies and scammers behind these calls, so please report unwanted calls at donotcall.gov. If you’ve lost money to a scam call, tell us at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Your reports help us take action against scammers and illegal robocallers — just like we did in Operation Call It Quits. In this law enforcement sweep, the FTC and its state and federal partners brought 94 actions against illegal robocallers. But there’s more: we also take the phone numbers you report and release them publicly each business day. That helps phone carriers and other partners that are working on call-blocking and call-labeling solutions. 

So share these videos and this call blocking news with your friends and family. Sharing will help protect someone you care about from a scam — and it’ll help them get fewer unwanted calls, too!  

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.14: 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

#alert, #america, #ftc, #scam

(USA) FTC ALERT REPORT: Scammers are using ‘Romance’ to steal YOUR money with fake profiles and ID’s and getting you to trust them #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.13: It’s never too late to find love, and lots of dating sites and apps are there to help. But scammers are out to steal your heart, too…and then steal your money. This Older Americans Month, let’s talk about romance scams. These can happen when someone makes a fake profile on dating sites, apps and social media. They then message you to get a relationship going, build your trust, and connect.

SCAM ALERT: No money, honey, Then, they hit you up for money. “Baby, I want to come see you but I’m short on funds. Can you send me $500 for a ticket?” Or, “I love you, honey. But we may not be able to talk anymore because my phone is about to get cut off. I need $300 to pay the bill…” Get the idea?

May 11, 2021by

Lisa Lake 

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC 

In the name of love, you send money. They come back with other lies to get still more money. Then the messages stop. You can’t reach them. They’ve taken off with a piece of your heart and big chunk of your wallet.

People reported $304 million in losses to romance scams in 2020. Here’s how you can avoid these heartless imposters:

  • If someone you’ve never met in person asks you for money, that’s a scam. No matter the story. Never send money or gifts to anyone you haven’t met in person — even if they send you money first.
  • Only scammers tell you to buy gift cardswire money, or send cryptocurrency. Once you send that money, you won’t get it back.
  • Do a reverse image search of the person’s profile picture. See if it’s associated with another name or with details that don’t match up. Those are signs of a scam.

Talk to someone you trust about your new love interest, and pay attention if they’re concerned. Learn more by watching this video and at ftc.gov/romancescams. And if a scammer tries to charm you out of your funds, report it to the FTC.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.13: 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, #romance, #scams, #united-states

(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