Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
The consumer movement, trust-busting, the women’s movement, and the work of the FTC have traveled parallel (and often intersecting) paths. Women’s History Month offers us a chance to consider the contribution women have made to the mission of the FTC and the unprecedented moment in women’s history we’re witnessing at the FTC today.
Robocalls can be more annoying than a lingering head cold. Recently, some people got robocalls that seemed to be about health insurance and the Health Insurance Marketplace, but the calls were a con. The callers were phishing for personal information. People who work in the Marketplace don’t make cold calls, and they never ask for personal information. If you get a call like this, hang up.
Every time I hear about a weight-loss case, filled with promises that a pill will let you shed pounds, fat, and inches without dieting and exercise, I think of My Fair Lady’s flower girl, dreaming in the cold night air about eating chocolates beside a warm fire, and singing wistfully, “Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?”
The FTC announced the settlement of another weight-loss case today. Spoiler alert – it turns out that the only thing the defendants’ Final Trim and AF Plus capsules were sure to trim were the wallets of consumers, who dropped $16.4 million over just three years buying them.
Imagine if you could improve your memory, attention, and problem solving skills in all aspects of your life — just by playing some simple “brain training” games online or on an app. Games that could help prevent age-related memory decline, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Games that could help you at work, school, or with everyday tasks — like remembering where you left your keys, or quickly recalling the name of a person you just met.
That’s just what Lumosity claimed its games could do, based on “proven neuroscience research.” But the FTC charged that there isn’t solid science showing that Lumosity’s “brain training” games work the way they say they would.
We all kick back a little during the holidays to enjoy fun times with family and friends. But having fun doesn’t mean relaxing the rules – especially when it comes to teens and alcohol. If you’re throwing a New Year’s party – or attending one – keep the celebrations safe by keeping an eye on people under the age of 21.
Could what you wear today be the difference between a day of severe pain and one of total relief?
According to Tommie Copper infomercials, TV spots, YouTube videos, print ads, and brochures, wearing the company’s copper-infused compression garments could relieve severe pain and inflammation — whether it’s chronic joint pain, or pain caused by diseases like multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately, the FTC says, Tommie Copper and its founder didn’t have the science to back up those claims.
If you have a friend or family member dealing with opiate addiction or dependence, you know it’s a sensitive subject. And you want to be supportive if your loved one is trying to overcome addiction to heroin or another opiate.
You may have seen various opiate withdrawal or detox supplements on the market — made with vitamins, minerals, and herbs — that promise fast and easy results and a path to becoming drug-free. But before you recommend them to a loved one, you should know that dietary supplements and herbal remedies have not been proven to work for successful opiate withdrawal.
There are lots of reasons you might take a dietary supplement — to feel healthy, to feel younger, to manage pain, or just to get more nutrients. But while some supplements have proven benefits, some may not work the way their ads claim, and others might be downright dangerous for your health. Yes, even the ones that claim to be “all-natural.”
Today, the FTC along with other federal agencies announced a joint sweep of actions against companies that have misled people about the safety, effectiveness, or contents of their dietary supplements. Specifically, the FTC brought cases against marketers who didn’t have scientific proof that their supplements worked.