Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
If a company offers you a free trial, what have you got to lose? Maybe plenty. Hidden strings attached to a deal can tangle you up in hard-to-escape buying plans that charge you for products or services you don’t want.
In October 2016, a federal judge ordered Volkswagen to compensate people who own or lease certain Volkswagens or Audis with 2.0-liter TDI-engines. Through September 1, 2018, current owners can apply for a buyback from Volkswagen, and current lessees can apply for lease terminations. Or — if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorizes an approved emission modification (AEM) for their type of car — owners and lessees can have their cars modified and get an AEM payment instead of doing a buyback or lease termination.
Scammers know how to design phony checks to make them look legitimate. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ just released a list of the most “risky” scams, based on how likely people are to be targeted, how likely to lose money, and how much money they lost. Fake checks were number two.
As the result of a lawsuit and settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Block Division, Inc., a Texas-based company, has promised to halt its misleading claims that its pulley blocks and equipment were “Made in the USA.” Many parts of the company’s products originated in other countries. In fact, the company’s pulleys used steel plates produced overseas that were pre-stamped “Made in USA” before they were shipped into the United States
Lots of people like to shop online. It’s easy and sometimes faster than finding what you want at the local mall. With just a few clicks, your order is processed and your purchase could be on your doorstep the next day. That is, unless you clicked on an ad that was really a scam. Online ads that offer deals on luxury items at low prices can be part of a scheme to take your money and give you nothing in return.
Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC
Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week 2017! March signals the start of Spring – a time of reassessment, growth and renewal that brings positive change. It’s also a good time to renew our commitment to helping people in our communities be savvy consumers.
Acting Director, Division of Consumer Response and Operations
Three million of you called, wrote, or went online to tell us about fraud or identity theft in 2016. Each one of those reports is important to us – and to other law enforcement nationwide – and helps us bring cases against scammers of all kinds. Sometimes, these cases result in refunds for the affected consumers. But these reports also add up to a picture of what happened during the year.
Americans are among the most generous people in the world, contributing more than $373 billion to charity in 2015, according to The Giving Institute. We’re all familiar with phone calls, mailers, and TV and radio spots seeking donations, but the times are changing. Evolving marketing practices and new technologies have introduced new ways to solicit contributions and donate. That’s just one of the reasons the FTC and the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO) are hosting a workshop on March 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.