When women are targeted for scams

Women make up slightly more than half of the US population, according to the US Census Bureau. Which means that about half of the people affected by the big cases we bring – say, against AT&T for throttling “unlimited” data, ASUSTek for security flaws in their routers, or Lumosity for overstating the science behind their brain training games – are women.

Except that sometimes, offers – and scams – are targeted. Maybe to Spanish-speakers. Or older adults. Or people looking for work. Or women. It’s Women’s History Month, and here’s a look at the work we’ve done to shut down scammers who targeted women during the past few years:

  • All that glitters: Oro Marketing was a telemarketer that targeted Spanish-speaking women with the “opportunity” to sell brand-name products for a profit. The goods delivered (cash on delivery) were unusable junk, and when people tried to refuse shipment or return the goods, the company harassed and threatened them. The good news? The company and its owner are now forever banned from doing business in the telemarketing industry.
  • Revenge porn: You read that correctly. Craig Brittain solicited sexually explicit pictures – mostly of women, posted them on his website, and sometimes included the person’s name, address, email, and phone number. He then offered a service (also run by him) where someone could pay hundreds of dollars to have their images removed. The FTC shut down the website and forced him to destroy all the images.
  • Magic underwear: Two companies ran ads claiming that their caffeine-infused shapewear would take inches off hips and thighs, and reduce the appearance of cellulite. And sometimes, according to the FTC, they didn’t have the science to back those claims. The companies had to make partial refunds and promise not to make unsubstantiated claims again.
  • “Revolutionary formula”: Lunada Biomedical’s ads told women over 40 that Amberen would relieve symptoms of menopause and perimenopause – including weight gain and hot flashes. Except, according to the FTC, they didn’t have the scientific evidence to support those claims. This case is ongoing.

Those are just a few of the cases we’ve brought where women were the targets. When you see a scam, tell us. Every report makes a difference.


I am beginning targeted on my iPad through my email. They took everything and are try to get money from all my contacts.The other day I almost feel for it to. They pretended to be Apple Itunestore I almost gave them my credit card number.That's how smart they are.

Thanks you very much. ...

HI. I know that a company called badoo is a very big scamming company. I have been on it for over 8months and every man that I have talked to wanted me to send him money. you should really look in it, there are a lot of them on tagged also

Thank you for sharing your experience. Please feel free to share the FTC article, Online Dating Scams, with others.

If you’d like to file a complaint about the company, please do so at ftc.gov/complaint. We can't address complaints that come through the blog comments.

Dear FTC,I contacted you before about the debt settlement company,JACKSON,HUNTER MORRIS & KNIGHT.I wondered if the court case has come up yet.Would appreciate any help.Thank you Rose

In September 2012, at the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court halted an operation that allegedly contacted consumers with robocalls, falsely claimed it would reduce their unsecured debt by 50 percent or more, made unauthorized charges to their bank accounts and called phone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. One of the companies in that operation was called Jackson, Hunter, Morris & Knight LLC.

In August 2013, the FTC reached a settlement with the person (Jeremy Nelson) and companies it sued. As part of the settlement, Nelson and his companies were banned from working in debt relief sales, using telemarketing, making robocalls and several other things. The order that settled the case imposed a judgment of more than $4.6 million against Nelson and the companies. The judgment was suspended, based on Nelson's inability to pay, after he surrendered to the FTC bank accounts and investment assets frozen by the court. 

Help me for financial sport.

I have a suspicion that I have been scammed by an individual who poses as an employee of a well known company in the USA. I am from South Africa and need to know if its possible for me to file a complaint to try and get my money back. Look forward to hearing from you.

You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. The FTC collects complaint information, shares it with other law enforcement agencies, and may bring cases against fraudulent businesses. The FTC does not investigate or resolve individual complaints. If you believe someone is mis-using the name of a company, you could contact the company directly to report that.

I am 69 years old. I've had my share of abuse and scams. The worse is the business women. That includes my daughter. The latest was a women contractor. I had a Black mold issue.I was concerned, because mold effects your health. I also effects your judgement.When I first meet this women. She told me not to worry about anything.She would make sure I would be alright.Not to worry about the cost of removing the mold.That she knew how to handle the insurance company. I would have to pay nothing.

Well it start off alright. Then problems started with I asked to see invoices,performance of people she had doing the work.By the time I really got wise. She had scam my insurance company. She had ruined my house.Left me without my new stove I purchased before the mold.For they wired it wrong.The plumbing is backwards, the dishwasher run on cold water.She spray painted everything. I mean spray paint on windows, ceiling fans, every wall connection, light switch.My house is sick. It is a hazard to walk through. Everything you touch has a white talc powder is on you and your clothes. She sent me a bill for $45,400.79. I do not know what to do.


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