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ICFE eNEWS #15-30 - September 29th 2015

Penn Corner  - FTC update

Penn Corner September 2015 - Update from the Federal Trade Commission

Deceptive Video Reviews for Xbox One
Machinima, Inc., an online entertainment network, agreed to settle FTC charges that it engaged in deceptive advertising. According to the FTC, the company paid "influencers" to post positive YouTube videos endorsing Microsoft’s Xbox One system and several games - without disclosing that they were being paid. According to the settlement, among other things, Machinima, Inc. must prominently disclose any material connection between the endorser and the advertiser.

Vemma Pyramid Scheme Halted
The FTC issued a complaint against Vemma Nutrition Company, alleging it is running an illegal pyramid scheme - and a federal court has ordered the operation to temporarily shut down. According to the FTC, Vemma Nutrition Company recruited heavily on college campuses with claims that young adults can earn up to $50,000 per week and live in the lap of luxury by selling an energy drink. But, says the FTC, the company emphasized recruiting other “affiliates” instead of drink sales, made false earnings claims, and failed to disclose that its structure ensures that most people who join will not earn substantial income.

"Rather than focusing on selling products, Vemma uses false promises of high income potential to convince consumers to pay money to join their organization. We are also alleging that Vemma is an illegal pyramid scheme."
— Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection


False Claims Harmed Homeowners
The FTC took action against Wealth Educators, Inc., a bogus law firm that promised to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. According to the FTC, Wealth Educators, Inc. promised government-sponsored loan modifications to struggling homeowners who paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees. The FTC alleges the company did little or nothing to help people keep their homes, and never worked with homeowner’s lenders. The FTC also says few people received the full refunds that the company promised.

Business Opportunity Deception
A series of elusive marketers, operating as Money Now Funding, among other names, were shut down by court orders obtained by the FTC. According to the FTC, the defendants told people they could earn up to $3,000 a month by referring small businesses to their company to get loans. But, says the FTC, the defendants charged up to $499 for the business “opportunity,” and then thousands more for useless sales leads. Money Now Funding cheated American and Canadian consumers – many of them older adults on limited incomes – out of more than $7 million.

Drug Competition Lowers Prices
Drug makers Concordia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., settled FTC charges that they entered into an unlawful agreement not to compete to sell generic versions of Kapvay, a prescription drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. At the time of the agreement, Concordia and Par were the only two firms approved by the FDA to sell generic Kapvay, but rather than competing against one another, Concordia agreed not to sell an authorized generic version of Kapvay in exchange for receiving a share of Par’s revenues. According to the FTC, the agreement deprived consumers of the lower prices that typically occur with generic competition. Under the settlement, the firms cannot enforce the anticompetitive provisions of their agreement.

New Resource for Recent Refugees
The FTC has new information for people who have recently arrived in the United States. Spotting, Avoiding and Reporting Scams: A Fraud Handbook for Recent Refugees and Immigrants is a short handbook to help people spot, avoid and report scams. The handbook and posters are free and available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Dari, Amharic, and Somali.

Lights Out for UV Disinfectants
Two companies, Angel Sales, Inc. and Zadro Health Solutions, agreed to settle FTC charges that they made false and unsubstantiated advertising claims. According to the FTC, both companies claimed that their ultraviolet (UV) light devices could kill nearly all viruses and bacteria. But the FTC says neither company had the scientific proof to back up those claims.

Your Money Back
The FTC is mailing 6,936 refund checks of $25.18 each – totaling $175,000 – to consumers who lost money buying Speak and Smooth dietary supplements. According to the FTC, NourishLife, LLC said the supplements were clinically proven to support healthy and normal speech development in kids. But the FTC says the company didn’t have the scientific evidence to back up its claims. People who receive the checks are encouraged to cash them before they expire on October 23, 2015.

IN OTHER NEWS:
Statement from FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on Appellate Ruling in the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts Matter
FTC Awards $25,000 Top Cash Prize for Contest-Winning Mobile App That Blocks Illegal Robocalls
FTC Staff Conducts Follow Up Survey of Kids’ Apps

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Attention servicemembers! Scammers may have military service. Or they could be lying to gain your trust and money.
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Concerned about an older friend or relative’s financial situation? Click for tips on spotting financial abuse.


ICFE eNEWS is available FREE upon request by visiting our Web site and filling out the contact form, and selecting "Yes" for "Add to Mailing List. Please pass this eNEWS on to your peers and interested others and invite them to subscribe for free. Also, visit the ICFE's new Web site: StudentDebtHelp.org

Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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Home ] ICFE News Releases ] ICFE in the News ] Children and Money ] Financial Education ] Resource Center ] Credit Card Tips ][ Credit File Correction ] Mending Spending ] Links and Resources ]  [ Online Store ]

 

Copyright ©  1997 - by Paul S. Richard
and the Institute of Consumer Financial Education, All Rights Reserved.
View our
Privacy Policy Our Terms and Conditions

Institute of Consumer Financial Education
PO Box 34070
San Diego, Ca 92163
Paul S. Richard, Executive Director
Phone 619-239-1401

FAX 619-923-3284

Questions for www.financial-education-icfe.org Click to go to Website Contact Us or 
Website Design Donated by Desgn School Programs