November 2013

Cha-ching in the holidays at your business

Your customers are counting down the days before the holiday shopping season begins.  As your staff prepares for the retail onslaught, the FTC has tips to help ensure that Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t followed by Consumer Complaint Tuesday and Law Enforcement Wednesday.

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After the cameras stop rolling

Every so often, the FTC announces a law enforcement sweep targeting a particular kind of deceptive practice.  Sometimes there’s a press conference featuring federal agencies and state AGs.  Blue suits and official seals abound.  A typical headline:  “More Than 70 Actions Brought By FTC and Its Law Enforcement Partners.”  But do you ever wonder what happens after the cameras stop rolling?

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An environmental "multi-vitamin" for engines? FTC finds ad claim hard to swallow

Green Foot Global said its EnviroTabs fuel additive was “the world’s 1st multi-vitamin for your engine.”  A lawsuit filed by the FTC suggests that one primary nutrient in the environmental “multi-vitamin” was Vitamin D — for Deception.

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Combating "cramouflage": What businesses can learn from the FTC's latest mobile case

Call it "cramouflage" — unauthorized (and unexplained) charges that show up on people's mobile phone bills.  Regardless of whether consumers use cell phones, land lines, or two cans tied together with string, it’s illegal to bill them without their express consent.  That’s always been the law.  It’s the law now.  And we’ll go out on a limb and predict it’ll always be the law.  A settlement involving "cramouflage" charges is the FT

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Heads up, payment processors

Here’s a fun fact we didn’t know:  Contrary to popular belief, ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand.  And here's a disturbing observation borne out by FTC experience:  Some companies that grease the wheels for fraudsters do bury their heads in the sand.  Others go a step further and help cover up their affiliates’ wrongdoing.  Either course of conduct could land them in legal hot water.  That’s just one message businesses can take from the FTC’s

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Watch it live

If today's Internet of Things workshop at the FTC interests you or your clients, a smart device has probably already reminded you to watch the webcast live.  Even if you couldn't make it to Washington today, you can still participate.  FTC staff is tweeting workshop highlights fro

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Blurred lines

Blurred lines are the talk of the media world.  No, not that “Blurred Lines.”  What advertisers, consumer groups, academics, and the FTC are trying to put into focus is the blending of ads with news, entertainment, and other content in digital media — sometimes called “native advertising” or “sponsored content.”  That’s what’s up for discussion at a December 4, 2013, public workshop at the FTC.  Blurr

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How your business can help protect those who protect us

Maybe it’s a “We Support Our Troops” sign at the front of your business or a special discount for members of the military.  There are lots of ways companies try to show appreciation to servicemembers and their families.  If Veterans Day has you thinking about how to say “thank you” for their sacrifice, the FTC has an easy first step:  Honor their legal rights.

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How I spent my summer vocation: FTC revises Vocational School Guides

We’ve all seen ads for vocational schools promising the inside track on well-paying careers in exciting industries.  If you have clients in the vocational school business, class is in session about revisions to key FTC guides.

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In a world . . .

In a world where your coffee pot secretly notifies your toaster that you’re ready for breakfast, one agency dares to stand up and ask the question others won’t:  Just what are the consumer privacy and security implications?

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A Mark, A Yen, A Buck or A Pound

Those billions of dollars people send from the U.S. to other countries make the world go around. If your company or your clients are in the business of sending remittances overseas for consumers, you need to know about a rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that just took effect.

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