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.
You get a phone call from an excited caller saying you’ve won a trip, a car, or a lot of money. Next, they ask you to send money before you get the prize. That is a sure sign of a scam.
Recently, we’ve heard about a spike in prize scam calls. Although there are some legitimate contests, remember: there are a lot of scams. Here are a few ways to spot a prize scam:
Scammers will do just about anything to rip you off. They will create fake websites, use fake endorsements from public figures, lie about the effectiveness of their products, and much more.
We did some investigating and found that a number of shady companies selling “brain booster” pills are using these exact tactics to promote their products. Here’s how:
Did you ever sign up for a free trial of a product you heard about on the radio? Some sellers will send you — and charge you — a lot more than you agreed to. The FTC says one group of dietary supplement marketers sold products through deceptive “risk free” offers and charged people repeatedly for unwanted products.
Here’s some good news for everyone who likes to write — and read — product reviews. A new federal law says businesses can't use contracts that prevent you from writing a truthful comment, or penalize you if you do.