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A costly low-cost trial offer

You’ve probably seen online ads with offers to let you try a product – or a service – for a very low cost, or even for free. Sometimes they’re tempting: I mean, who doesn’t want whiter teeth for a dollar plus shipping? Until the great deal turns into a rip-off. That’s what the FTC says happened in a case it announced today.

The defendants sold tooth-whitening products under various names, and hired other companies to help them market the products. These affiliate marketers created online surveys, as well as ads for free or low-cost trials – all to drive people to the product’s website. What happens next is so complicated that we created an infographic to explain it.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Want cosmetic contact lenses? Get an Rx!

You might want to think twice before buying cosmetic contact lenses – and the reason may surprise you.

What are cosmetic contacts? They’re contact lenses meant to change the way your eye looks, rather than correct your vision. Change can be a good thing – but you’re gonna need a prescription for it.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Here’s a big reason to complain about unwanted calls

Tired of getting unwanted calls like illegal robocalls? We don’t even need to ask, right? Maybe you’ve wondered if filing a complaint actually makes a difference?

Your complaints are vital to the work we do (more on that in a minute). But today we’ve got another great reason to keep those complaints coming.

Planning to watch the eclipse? Read this first

On Monday, August 21, 2017, sky-gazers across the country will watch the solar eclipse. If you’re planning to watch, you’ll need to use eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers. Be sure to get the kind that actually protects your eyes.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Know your debt collection rights

Know someone who’s behind on their bills? Maybe debt collectors are calling for payment? Our new debt collection video can help you understand your legal rights – and may lower your stress level.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

At work on India-based imposter scams

Imposter scams like phony tech support scams and IRS impersonator calls continue to hit computers and phones across the country. And the scammers behind them continue to make it tough to track them down by masking their caller ID information and sending money through obscure and tangled routes. What we do know is that many of these scammers are based in India.

That’s why, at a recent FTC-led roundtable in Washington, DC, law enforcers, technologists, consumer advocates, and representatives from the Indian government and industry met to look at what more we can do to fight imposter scams. This event was the latest in a series of events in the U.S. and India.

Avoid international travel document scams

If you are planning a trip outside the US, you have probably been collecting tips on everything from great restaurants to comfortable walking shoes. Here is our contribution: when you search for information online, you may find official-looking websites that offer travel documents, information and services. But some official-looking sites are copycats — imposters — that can put your money and personal information at risk.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

The Winner of the IoT Home Inspector Challenge is…

Internet of Things (IoT) devices have made our lives easier. You can now set your slow cooker to the right temperature while you’re at work. Lightbulbs can be programmed to flick on while you’re away. Even washing machines and garden sprinklers are hyper-connected. But for all of the ease and convenience of these IoT devices, there is a flip side: security risks.

That’s why, this past January, we asked for your help through the IoT Home Inspector Challenge. The contest challenged entrants to develop a tool that would help address security issues caused by out-of-date software in IoT devices. We knew there were innovators out there with big ideas, and you delivered.

Dietary supplement concerns? Tell the FTC and FDA

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have enforcement programs to protect consumers from false and misleading claims about the safety and benefits of products marketed as dietary supplements. Both agencies have authority over the marketing of these products.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

What we heard: military consumer financial issues

When you want to know what’s going on with a group, you go directly to the source, right? That’s exactly what the FTC did last week when it held a Military Consumer Financial Workshop in San Antonio, Texas. The day’s purpose was to take a look at the financial issues and scams that can affect military consumers – active duty servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

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