Associate Director, Division of Marketing Practices, FTC
When the FTC settles with – or sues – a company, we’re often trying to stop illegal behavior, return lost money to people as often as we can, and generally make unfair things fair and deceptive things true. Today’s historic settlement with Herbalife goes one better:
You’ve started a new business and want to ensure you’re doing everything right. So, when people claiming to be with the government call you to say you’re violating the law, you may be inclined to do whatever they say to fix it…right?
Slow down. Government imposters are counting on that reaction — because that’s their business.
When we say we’re fighting fraud in every community here at the FTC, we mean it. We’re bringing cases and reaching out to diverse segments of the population: servicemembers and veterans, older adults, Asian Americans, Native Americans, the disability community, LGBT individuals and groups – and African American and Latino communities.
Criminals don’t like getting caught. So, when they want to send and receive stolen money, they get someone else to do the dirty work. Some scammers develop online relationships and ask their new sweetheart or friend to accept a deposit and transfer funds for them. Other cons recruit victims with job ads that seem like they’re for legit jobs. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.
You’re job hunting online and see a job ad for a well-known company. It’s on a site that says it pre-screens people for big employers, like banks, government agencies, and multinational companies. You apply and get a message asking you to schedule an interview.
Not so fast. The “interview” is really a call designed to get you to enroll in specific colleges or career training programs. That’s the story behind the FTC’s complaint against Gigats — also doing business as Expand, Inc., EducationMatch and Softrock, Inc. According to the FTC, instead of interviewing or prescreening people for employers, Gigats ran a deceptive scheme to generate sales leads for its clients.
This is National Reentry Week, a time to recognize the work government agencies and others do to address the challenges facing formerly incarcerated people. Consumer knowledge helps with successful reentry, giving people the tools to better manage their finances, make informed buying decisions, and avoid scams.
Associate Director, Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Here at the FTC, we spend most of our time working to protect your consumer rights and promote fair competition among companies. We conduct investigations, bring cases, give people tips and advice, help businesses comply with the law, and advocate for consumer-friendly policies around the world.
Every once in a while, we take a moment to measure our impact and consider what we’ve accomplished. That lets us explain our approach to people and companies that want to know, and helps us plan for the future.
In that spirit, today we released the FTC’s Annual Highlights for 2015.
Are you a former student of DeVry University — or of any other college — who’s heard from a company that’s promising to get your loans forgiven after you pay them a fee?
We have an important piece of advice: don’t do it. It’s never a good idea to pay an up-front fee for the promise of debt relief. Once you pay, you might not get anything in return. And you might be paying for something you can do yourself for free.