Showing posts from September, 2022

FTC Releases Agenda for Virtual Event on Digital Advertising to Kids

The Federal Trade Commission released the final agenda  for its October 19 virtual kids digital advertising event that will explore how best to protect children from a growing array of marketing practices that make it difficult or impossible for children to distinguish ads from entertainment in digital media. The event, Protecting Kids from Stealth Advertising in Digital Media , will examine the current kids digital advertising landscape, its impact on children, and whether current legal and regulatory regimes are equipped to protect children from potential harms. FTC Chair Lina M. Khan will provide opening remarks to kick off the event and will be followed by two presentations discussing the range of digital spaces children, including teens, frequent and the types of advertising and marketing techniques used to advertise to them. The event will also feature three panel discussions focused on: Children’s cognitive abilities : Panelists will examine children’s cognitive abilitie

Federal Trade Commission, California Take Action To Shut Down Mortgage Relief Operation that Preyed on Struggling Homeowners

The Federal Trade Commission and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) are taking action against various companies doing business as Home Matters USA, Academy Home Services, Atlantic Pacific Service Group, and Golden Home Services America, and the owners of the companies, Dominic Ahiga and Roger Scott Dyer, for operating a sham mortgage relief operation that misled consumers and cost them millions. In the first case brought jointly by the two agencies, the FTC and DFPI allege that the companies charged consumers thousands of dollars with false promises they would negotiate with consumers’ mortgage lenders to alter their loans, at times even representing they were affiliated with government COVID-19 relief programs. A federal court has temporarily shut down  the operation and frozen the assets of the defendants in the case.   “At a time when millions of Americans were dealing with a pandemic and struggling to pay their mortgages, defendants preyed

Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $415,000 To Consumers Harmed by Deceptive Car Dealer Tate’s Auto

The Federal Trade Commission is sending payments totaling more than $415,000 to 3,508 consumers who financed a car or truck at a Tate’s Auto dealership after January 1, 2013, and later had the vehicle repossessed. Tate’s Auto, which operated dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico, allegedly deceived consumers about payment information and falsified information on consumers’ financing applications. Eligible consumers will receive a check in the mail, unless they specifically requested a PayPal payment. Recipients should cash checks within 90 days or redeem PayPal payments within 30 days. Consumers who have questions about their refund should call the refund administrator, JND Legal Administration, at 888-964-0009. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund. The FTC sued Tate's Auto in 2018 for inflating consumers’ income on financing applications to third-party lenders, as well as deceiving consumers about the lease or financ

FTC, CFPB Submit Amicus Brief Defending Consumers’ Ability to Dispute Inaccurate Items on Credit Reports

The Federal Trade Commission joined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in filing an amicus brief  with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District in the case of Ingram v. Experian. The brief asks the appeals court to overturn a lower court’s decision that could create an exception to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allowing furnishers of credit information to decline to investigate when consumers dispute inaccurate information in certain circumstances. The brief argues that the holding could undercut a key protection provided by the FCRA that allows consumers to dispute and correct inaccurate information in their credit reports. “The law gives consumers a right to dispute inaccurate information and have their claim investigated,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC-CFPB brief rejects the argument that there are circumstances when furnishers do not have to follow the law.” The FCRA provides consumers with two

FTC to Convene First Meeting of Scams Against Older Adults Advisory Group on Sept. 29

Representatives from 13 federal and state government agencies, along with representatives from industry and consumer advocates, will join the Federal Trade Commission on Sept. 29 for the first meeting of the newly formed Scams Against Older Adults Advisory Group . The advisory group, which was created as part of the Stop Senior Scams Act passed in March of this year, is led by the FTC and will tackle four topics: 1) expanding consumer education efforts; 2) improving industry training on scam prevention; 3) identifying innovative or high-tech methods to detect and stop scams; and 4) developing research on consumer or employee engagement to reduce fraud. The advisory group also will help identify and invite key stakeholders to contribute to the committees’ work. Agencies and organizations participating in the meeting in addition to the FTC include: AARP AmeriCorps Chamber of Digital Commerce Commodity Futures Trading Commission Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Federal Depo

FTC to Host Forum on September 8 on Commercial Surveillance and Lax Data Security Practices

WHAT: The Federal Trade Commission is hosting a public forum regarding its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on commercial surveillance and data security practices that harm consumers and competition. WHEN: Thursday, September 8, 2022, 2 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET WHERE: The event will be held online. A link to view the forum will be posted to the day of the event and on the event page . WHO: The event will feature remarks by FTC Chair Lina M. Khan, Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya, as well as a staff presentation, two panel discussions, and comments from the public. TWITTER: Follow along with the conversation on the FTC’s Twitter page (@FTC) using the hashtag #ANPRForum.

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FTC Takes Action to Stop Credit Karma From Tricking Consumers With Allegedly False “Pre-Approved” Credit Offers

The Federal Trade Commission has taken action against credit services company Credit Karma for deploying dark patterns to misrepresent that consumers were “pre-approved” for credit card offers. The FTC alleges that the company used claims that consumers were “pre-approved” and had “90% odds” to entice them to apply for offers that, in many instances, they ultimately did not qualify for. The agency’s order   requires the company to pay $3 million that will be sent to consumers who wasted time applying for these credit cards and to stop making these types of deceptive claims. “Credit Karma’s false claims of ‘pre-approval’ cost consumers time and subjected them to unnecessary credit checks,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC will continue its crackdown on digital dark patterns that harm consumers and pollute online commerce.” Credit Karma provides tools that allow consumers to monitor their credit scores and credit reports. To use