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“Free trial” scammers settle, surrender millions

In 2010, the FTC sued Jeremy Johnson, his company IWorks, and nine others for allegedly taking more than $280 million from people with a deceptive “free trial” scheme. Now Johnson, his family members, and more than two dozen corporate defendants have settled FTC charges and will give up millions of dollars in cash, stock, jewelry, aircraft, real estate and other assets.

Image of Free Trial Offers video

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Academics and scientists: Beware of predatory journal publishers

If you’re a scholar or scientist, you know the value of being published in an academic journal.  Unfortunately, some dishonest publishers also understand this — and have used it to profit from rather than promote legitimate advancements in research and academia.

In its lawsuit against OMICS Group — which operates hundreds of online journals in a variety of fields — the FTC says the company bombards people with emails soliciting articles, misrepresents the reputation of its publications, and doesn’t disclose that authors have to pay substantial fees — ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars — to be published.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

The top three ways to avoid fraud

In pretty much every article and blog post we put out, you’ll find tips to help you avoid scams. The idea is that, if you can spot a scam, and know how to avoid it, you and your money are more likely to stay together.

Today, we’re releasing a brochure that distills those tips down to the top 10 ways to avoid fraud. This brochure – available online and in print – is your one-stop resource to help you spot imposters, know what to do about robocalls, and how to check out a scammer’s claims.

Early VW buyback offers could cost you

Lately, we’ve been hearing from people who have gotten offers for their VW or Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars. Recent offers. Sometimes even using the term “buyback” – which isn’t exactly normal car trade-in language.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Shopping for a car? Be alert for flood damage.

It seems to happen after every major flood… damaged cars are cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. In fact, some experts estimate that, typically, half of all vehicles damaged by flooding eventually return to market.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Surviving a flood — Dealing with the aftermath

Once the floodwaters have receded, it’s time to take stock and develop a recovery plan. It can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips and links to resources to help make the task less burdensome.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Helping Victims of the Flooding in Louisiana — Make Sure Your Donations Count

It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their lives, homes, and businesses to the ongoing flooding in Louisiana. But it’s despicable when scammers exploit such tragedies to appeal to your sense of generosity.

 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Car ads broke the law — again

You’ve seen the ads — car dealers hyping big discounts, low prices and low monthly payments, and great financing deals.

Ads about good deals on cars? Not a problem. Leaving out important details about how you qualify for those deals? That’s a problem. By law, dealers’ ads must clearly disclose any “catches” — like if getting that low monthly payment requires money up-front, or if a deal is limited to people who qualify for low financing rates.

That’s the issue behind the FTC’s new settlement with Dallas-area Southwest Kia dealers.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Stranger than family

Have you ever gotten a phone call from someone pretending to be a family member? They might say it is an emergency – maybe somebody is in jail, in the hospital, or being held hostage. What’s common to all of these calls is that they end with the caller asking you to send money. These calls are scams no matter how convincing they sound.

FTC and CDC Twitter Chat for Contact Lens Health Week

To promote Contact Lens Health Week, the FTC will be a guest on a live Twitter chat hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The chat is scheduled for Monday, August 22 at Noon Eastern.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

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