It’s holiday season; time to visit family and friends, buy gifts and celebrate. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of sales and shopping, but if money is tight right now, you may wonder if you can afford all that holiday cheer. Before you start ringing up holiday expenses, make a budget and get a fix on your income, expenses and what you have to spend.
Some businesses seem to have short memories. Case in point: In 2012, Billion Auto, a chain of family-owned auto dealerships, agreed to an FTC settlement order that required them not to run deceptive ads for the financing and leasing of their vehicles. Yet here we are again, reminding Billion Auto — this time with a financial penalty of $360,000 — of their responsibilities under the law.
Close to half a million people who bought Sensa, a sprinkle-on weight loss product, will share more than $26 million in refunds, thanks to the FTC. The money comes from the FTC’s settlement with Sensa’s marketers, who said their powder would help people lose weight. According to the FTC, the company didn’t have the scientific evidence they needed to back up the claims.
As the old song goes, “Silver and gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold.” That rings especially true now that we’re smack in the middle of the gift-giving season. If you’re looking for that special little something, jewelry might do the trick. But do you know whether you’re buying a trinket or a treasure? If you’re on the hunt for holiday glitz, keep in mind these pearls of wisdom.
Do you trust me because I speak Spanish? That sounds like a strange question, but in some communities – and in some situations – it could be enough for someone to trust a stranger.
At the Fraud Affects Every Community workshop recently held at FTC headquarters, we heard from panelists living and working in diverse communities about ways scammers are using language, shared customs, relationships and community practices to steal people’s money.
Mark Twain once said, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” If you live by this mantra, you might find yourself scrambling at the last minute to finish your holiday shopping this season. Enter the gift card.
Books closed, it’s time for a health privacy pop quiz. What online medical billing company did the FTC allege deceived consumers in an attempt to get their sensitive health information from pharmacies, health insurance companies, and medical labs?
Home for the holidays? This year, when you pass the turkey, latkes, or veggies, why not also pass on your knowledge about avoiding scams?
You know a lot about scams. Sharing what you know can help protect someone who you know from a scam. That’s why the FTC created Pass It On – articles, presentations, bookmarks, activities and a video – all designed to help you talk about scams and how to prevent them. There’s something for everyone at your holiday gathering.
If a company promises a new and innovative handheld gaming console, you’d expect the features to work as described in their ads, right? According to Sony’s settlement with the FTC, announced today, that wasn’t the case with ads for the PlayStation Vita. And now the company will offer partial refunds to eligible buyers.
Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Many people around the world dream of getting a “Green Card” that allows them to live and work in the United States. The U.S. Department of State runs the Diversity Visa Immigrant Program, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery. People from certain countries who apply and are selected in a lottery drawing could qualify to be “Lawful Permanent Residents.” Unfortunately, the FTC has seen websites that claim to be affiliated with the program, but are not.