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Showing posts from September, 2020

FTC, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Partners Announce Nationwide Crackdown on Phantom and Abusive Debt Collection

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‘Operation Corrupt Collector’ targets debt collectors trying to collect on non-existent debts, using illegal scare tactics The Federal Trade Commission, along with more than 50 federal and state law enforcement partners, today announced a nationwide law enforcement and outreach initiative to protect consumers from phantom debt collection and abusive and threatening debt collection practices. This crackdown encompasses more than 50 enforcement actions against debt collectors engaged in these illegal practices brought by the FTC, three federal partners, and partners from 16 states. The initiative, called Operation Corrupt Collector, includes five FTC law enforcement actions, including two newly announced cases and settlements in three prior actions. The two new FTC cases allege that companies were trying to collect debts they cannot legally collect or that a consumer does not owe—a practice known as phantom debt collection. The operation also includes two cases filed by the Consum

Set up an RSS feed using Outlook

Click the File tab, click the Account Settings button, and then choose Account Settings from its menu. The Account Settings dialog box opens. Click the RSS Feeds tab. The RSS signup page shows the list of feeds to which you’ve subscribed. Click the New button. Enter the URL of the RSS feed you want. Click the Add button. Click OK. Click Close.

FTC, Federal and State Partners to Announce Major Law Enforcement Sweep Tuesday

The Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with federal and state partners will announce a major law enforcement sweep on a teleconference at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith and New York Attorney General Letitia James will give remarks and answer questions from the media. WHAT: A phone-in press conference to announce a major law enforcement sweep by the FTC and federal and state partners. WHO: FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith and New York Attorney General Letitia James will give remarks and answer questions from reporters. WHEN: 11 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. WHERE: Via teleconference. Members of the media may dial to the press conference by dialing 844-291-6360. Access code: 1663925. Lines for media will open 15 minutes before the start of the press conference. CONTACT INFORMATION Media Contact: Jay Mayfield Office of Public Affair

Company Charged With Posing as SBA Lender Settles FTC Charges and Ceases Using ‘SBA Loan Program’ Website and Business Name

A Rhode Island company and its owner will be permanently prohibited from misrepresenting they are affiliated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of a settlement resolving Federal Trade Commission charges they misled consumers in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Ponte Investments, LLC, and its owner John C. Ponte were charged by the FTC in April with misleading small businesses to think they had an affiliation with the SBA and could offer companies access to the coronavirus relief programs administered by the agency. Using the business name “SBA Loan Program” and the website SBALoanProgram.com, Ponte and his company targeted small businesses directly through telephone calls, e-mails, and the website, according to the FTC’s complaint, claiming to be representing the SBA and soliciting loan applications on behalf of the businesses’ banks. They also made statements on their website like “WE ARE A DIRECT LENDER FOR THE PPP PROGRAM!” and “[w]e are currently

Second Round of Refunds, Totaling $147 Million, Sent to Consumers As a Result of Multi-Agency Case Against Western Union

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Total refunds sent now total more than $300 million; future refund distributions are planned Approximately $147 million is being mailed to 33,000 consumers in the second distribution of refunds resulting from the law enforcement actions brought against Western Union by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Affected consumers are receiving compensation for 100 percent of their verified losses.  The FTC’s complaint against Western Union alleged that for many years, Western Union was aware that fraudsters around the world used the company’s money transfer system to bilk consumers, and that some Western Union agents were complicit in the frauds. The FTC’s complaint alleged that Western Union failed to put in place effective anti-fraud policies and procedures and to act promptly against problem agents. “This round of payments is another key step in ensuring that consumers harmed by Western Union’s actions are

The Public folders are part of the Windows 10 operating system and should not be deleted.

Turn On or Off Public Folder Sharing in Windows 10

1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Network and Sharing Center icon. 2. Click/tap on the Change advanced sharing settings link on the left side.

Eclipse Theia is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud & Desktop IDEs with state-of-the-art web technologies.

Theia versus VS Code The most significant differences are: Theia's architecture is more modular and allows for way more customizations, Theia is designed from the ground to run on Desktop and Cloud, and Theia is developed under a vendor-neutral Open-Source Foundation.

Globex Telecom and Associates Will Pay $2.1 Million, Settling FTC’s First Consumer Protection Case Against a VoIP Service Provider

Globex’s former CEO and others who facilitated credit card interest reduction scheme will be banned from telemarketing to the U.S. Globex Telecom, Inc. and an affiliated company will pay a total of $1.9 million to settle Federal Trade Commission and State of Ohio charges that they facilitated a scheme that peddled bogus credit card interest rate relief, illegally charging consumers millions of dollars. The settlement marks the end of the FTC’s first consumer protection case against a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider. The FTC and Ohio alleged that Globex provided a company called Educare Centre Services with the means to make calls to U.S. consumers, including illegal robocalls, to market Educare’s phony credit card interest rate reduction services. “Bombarding people with unwanted robocalls is illegal – and so is selling bogus credit card interest rate reduction services with an upfront fee,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “

FTC to Host Virtual Workshop on Data Portability on September 22, 2020

WHAT: The Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop that will examine the potential benefits and challenges to consumers, privacy, and competition raised by data portability, which is the ability of consumers to move data from one service to another or to themselves. WHEN: Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. ET WHERE: The workshop will be held online. A link to view the workshop will be posted the morning of the event to the event page and ftc.gov. WHO: The event will feature remarks by FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith and FTC Bureau of Competition Director Ian Conner, as well as panel discussions featuring academics, government officials, industry representatives, and consumer advocates. TWITTER: The event will be tweeted live from the FTC’s Twitter page (@FTC) using the hashtag #DataToGoFTC. The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers . You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consu

Repair the Windows 10 image

Type the following command to repair the Windows 10 image (With Admin) DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

CBC News : Calgary-made whisky named best in the world by annual Whisky Bible

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Calgary-made whisky named best in the world by annual Whisky Bible https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-premium-cask-strength-whisky-named-best-in-the-world-by-annual-whisky-bible-1.5727452

Java Annotations usages

Information for the compiler — Annotations can be used by the compiler to detect errors or suppress warnings. Compile-time and deployment-time processing — Software tools can process annotation information to generate code, XML files, and so forth. Runtime processing — Some annotations are available to be examined at runtime.

Android 11 arrived

You can now find conversations from different messaging apps in one place. And when you press and hold the power button, you'll see all of your connected devices, so you can adjust your thermostat or turn on the lights.

FTC Refunds More Than $110,000 to Consumers Who Bought StimTein Joint Pain Relief Pills

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The Federal Trade Commission is sending 12,219 checks totaling more than $110,000 to consumers who bought StimTein, a pill that would supposedly provide effective joint pain relief. The marketers of StimTein stopped making those claims as part of a federal court settlement with the FTC . In February 2020, the FTC filed a complaint against Excellent Marketing Results, Inc. (EMR) , which sold StimTein through infomercials and online. According to the FTC, EMR’s advertised joint pain relief claims for StimTein were false and not supported by scientific evidence. Under an order settling the FTC’s charges , EMR and its president agreed to pay $145,000 to the Commission for consumer refunds. Litigation continues against ZyCal Bioceuticals, the supplier of StimTein’s purported active ingredient. The FTC is sending refund checks to people who bought EMR’s StimTein. Checks will be for either $10 or $7.99, depending upon the amount individual consumers spent on StimTein. Those who get che

FTC Joins Four States in Action to Shut Down Alleged Sham Charity Funding Operation That Bilked Millions From Consumers

Settlements will permanently prohibit defendants from charity fundraising business, require them to pay back money for use by legitimate charities A sprawling fundraising operation that allegedly scammed consumers out of millions of dollars will be permanently banned from charitable fundraising along with its owner and others involved in its operation as a result of a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission and Attorneys General of New York, Virginia, Minnesota, and New Jersey. The operation is made up of multiple companies all under the control of owner Mark Gelvan, along with his associates Thomas Berkenbush, William English, and Damian Muziani. The complaint filed by the FTC  and the states alleges that the defendants served as the primary fundraisers for a number of sham charities that were the subject of numerous law enforcement actions. The complaint alleges that the sham charities claimed to use consumers’ donations to help homeless veterans, retired and disabled law en

FTC Settlement Requires Online Trading Academy to Forgive Consumer Debt, and Principals to Turn Over Millions in Cash and Assets

Online Trading Academy will be required to offer debt forgiveness to thousands of consumers who purchased its “training programs,” while the company’s founder and other individuals will together pay between $5 and $9.1 million and turn over assets under the terms of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that is expected to result in more than $10 million to benefit injured consumers.   In February, the FTC brought a lawsuit alleging that OTA, led by Eyal Shachar, had deceived consumers for years with claims that purchasers of OTA’s investment training were likely to generate significant income. OTA claimed that anyone could learn to use its strategy, and filled its sales pitch with testimonials and hypothetical trades showing significant profits. The FTC alleged that OTA had no evidence that purchasers were likely to realize the advertised profits, and that the company’s own surveys and third party trading data showed that most purchasers made little to no money. OTA also c

FTC Comment to Texas Attorney General Raises Concerns about Likely Competitive Effect of Proposed Regulations Imposing Additional Supervisory Requirements on Texas Certified Nurse Anesthetists

The Federal Trade Commission staff has submitted a comment to the Texas Attorney General  regarding a request from the Texas Medical Board for an opinion on the statutory basis for the supervision of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). The Board’s request is related to regulations they had considered in 2019, Proposed Rule § 193.13. FTC staff warned the Texas Medical Board last year that the proposed rule could harm competition by impeding access to surgical and other health care services provided by CRNAs. According to FTC staff’s analysis, the proposed rule would impose additional supervisory requirements on CRNAs who administer anesthesia and might expose Texas physicians who delegate the administration of anesthesia and related services to CRNAs to additional liability. Writing in response to an invitation from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, FTC staff state that the Texas Medical Board’s new request appears to misconstrue both the FTC’s comment last year to the

FTC Releases Agenda for September Workshop on Data Portability

The Federal Trade Commission has released the agenda  for its September 22, 2020, workshop that will examine the potential benefits and challenges to consumers and competition raised by data portability. Data portability gives consumers more control over their data, allowing them to move data—such as emails, contacts, calendars, financial information, health information, favorites, friends, or content posted on social media—from one service to another or to themselves. Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, will give opening remarks, followed by a presentation from Peter Swire, the Elizabeth and Tommy Holder Chair of Law and Ethics at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. Ian Conner, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, will deliver closing remarks. The workshop will also feature four panel discussions that will focus on: case studies on data portability rights in the European Union, India, and California; case studies on financial and he

Operators of Student Debt Relief Scheme Agree to Pay at Least $835,000 to Settle FTC Allegations

The operators of a student loan debt relief scheme will pay at least $835,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that they charged illegal upfront fees and made false promises to consumers struggling with student loan debt. The settlement resolves FTC litigation against Carey G. Howe, Anna C. Howe, Shunmin Hsu, Ruddy Palacios, and Oliver Pomazi, five individuals who were named as defendants in the agency’s complaint against Arete Financial Group and several related companies. In the complaint filed in 2019, the FTC alleged that Arete and the other defendants pretended to be affiliated with the Department of Education and deceptively promised loan forgiveness, consolidation, and repayment programs to reduce or eliminate monthly payments and principal balances. Litigation continues against other defendants in the case, Jay Singh and the two corporate defendants he controls, as well as against seven defaulted corporate defendants. The order bans the settling defendants fr

New Australian #law requires priests to break seal of confession

Priests in the state of Queensland are required to break the seal of confession to report child #sex abuse to police or face three years in jail.

Mount a NTFS Drive on CentOS / RHEL / Scientific Linux

Install the ntfs-3g package: yum install ntfs-3g Or dnf install ntfs-3g

Crayfish Regulations in Ontario Canada

Ontario traps have to be no longer than 20 inches and no wider than 12.2, and you are allowed to possess crayfish for the intent of cooking as long as they are not transported away from the lake.

Auto Dealer Group to Cease Business Operations As Part of FTC Settlement

Tate’s Auto Group, now in bankruptcy proceedings, was charged with falsifying consumer information on financing applications A group of auto dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico must cease business operations as part of a court-approved settlement resolving Federal Trade Commission  charges that the dealerships deceived consumers and falsified information on vehicle financing applications. In a case filed in 2018, the FTC alleged that Tate’s Auto Center of Winslow, Inc.; Tate’s Automotive, Inc.; Tate Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. (doing business as Tate’s Auto Center);  Tate’s Auto Center of Gallup, Inc.; and Richard Berry, an officer of the dealerships, falsified consumers’ income and down payment information on vehicle financing applications and misrepresented important financial terms in vehicle advertisements. The case continues against Berry and relief defendant Linda Tate.  “These auto dealers sent bogus applications to finance companies to qualify consumers for car loans that the

Children’s Online Learning Program ABCmouse to Pay $10 Million to Settle FTC Charges of Illegal Marketing and Billing Practices

Company also failed to disclose important information to consumers, leading many consumers to be renewed and charged for memberships without their consent Note: The FTC will host a media call-in on this announcement with Todd Kossow, Director, FTC’s Midwest Regional Office Date: September 2, 2020 Time: 12:00 p.m. CT (1 p.m. ET) Call-in: 844-291-6360 ; Access Code: 2355746 Call-in lines, which are for media only, will open 15 minutes prior to the start of the call. Online children’s education company Age of Learning, Inc., which operates ABCmouse, will pay $10 million and change its negative option marketing and billing practices to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it made misrepresentations about cancellations and failed to disclose important information to consumers, leading tens of thousands of people to be renewed and charged for memberships without proper consent. The complaint also alleges the Southern California-based company unfairly billed ABCmouse users without th