ICFE eNEWS #15-32 - October 22th 2015
Penn Corner October 2015 - Update from the Federal Trade Commission
Weight-loss Supplement Cut Down to Size
The FTC took action against
Roca Labs, Inc. for making false and unproven claims about their
weight-loss supplements, and unfairly intimidating people to keep
them from sharing bad reviews online. According to the FTC's complaint,
the company targeted people considering gastric bypass surgery by
promising the same dramatic weight-loss results without surgery.
The FTC says people who'd already paid several hundred dollars were
told they'd have to pay even more money if they wrote negative reviews.
And if they wrote a negative review anyway? People were sued by
the company for the reviews, and had their sensitive health information
exposed in public court documents, according to the FTC.
Vision App's Blind Spot
Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc. agreed to settle FTC charges that
it deceived people with claims that its "Ultimeyes" video game app
would improve their eyesight. According to the FTC, Ultimeyes ads
said the game could improve someone's vision by 31%, two lines on
the eye chart, and even "turn back the clock on your vision" and
reverse "aging eye." But, says the FTC's complaint, the company
doesn';t have enough scientific evidence to prove these claims,
and it's deceptive to sell something based on claims that aren't
backed by proper science.
"This case came down to the simple
fact that 'Ultimeyes' promoters did not have the scientific evidence
to support their claims that the app could improve users' vision.
Health-related apps can offer benefits to consumers, but the FTC
will not hesitate to act when health-related claims are not based
on sound science."
- Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Fake Debt Collection Foiled
Broadway Global Master Inc. agreed to settle FTC charges that
they illegally collected more than $5 million in payments for fake
payday loan debts. According to the FTC, the company posed as law
enforcement and fake government agencies, harassing people into
paying debts they didn't owe by threatening to sue or arrest them,
or tell their family or employers about the debt. The settlement
bans Broadway Global Master from the debt collection business.
Pharma and Ortho Competition Preserved
In two settlements, the FTC preserved competition
for generic medicines that treat ulcers and thyroid conditions,
and for orthopedic devices used in ankle and toe joint replacements.
Pharmaceutical companies Endo International and Par Pharmaceuticals
agreed to divest rights and assets to two types of generic tablets
settle FTC charges that their merger likely would result in
higher prices. In a separate order, the FTC required Wright Medical
Group and Tornier N.V. to sell Tornier's rights and assets to its
total ankle replacements and total silastic toe joint replacements
to settle charges that their $3.3 billion merger would illegally
Updated Franchise Guide
Considering buying a franchise?
A Consumer's Guide to Buying a Franchise is an updated FTC guide
that explains how to evaluate your finances, abilities and goals.
You will also find ideas for ways to shop for a franchise opportunity,
key questions to ask, and an explanation of your rights. Visit
ftc.gov/bulkorder for free copies.
Your Money Back
The FTC is returning money to people targeted
by three different scams. If you get a check, deposit or cash it
within 60 days of the mailing date. Want information about the FTC's
refund program? Visit
In the case of
Direct Benefits Group LLC, a company that illegally debited
people's bank accounts when they sought payday loans, the FTC is
sending 64,607 checks totaling $1.5 million to people who lost money.
The FTC says the company didn't disclose that they would use people's
bank account information to charge them to enroll in unwanted programs.
The FTC is mailing 6,832 checks totaling more than $1.1 million
to people who lost money with
Independent Association of Businesses (IAB), a company that
tricked people into buying fake health insurance. The FTC says that
instead of health coverage, people got a trade association membership
that supposedly gave discounts on identity theft protection, travel,
and roadside assistance.
The FTC also is mailing 23,406 checks
totaling more than $3.7 million to people who lost money to
LeanSpa LLC,, after buying acai berry and "colon cleanse" weight-loss
products. According to the FTC, LeanSpa's deceptive weight-loss
claims tricked people into thinking they could get free trials by
paying small shipping and handling costs. Instead, the FTC says
people paid $79.95 for the trial, plus more for ongoing monthly
shipments that were hard to cancel.
IN OTHER NEWS
Debt Relief Scammer Settles FTC Charges by Agreeing to $7.9 Million
Texas Auto Dealer Will Pay More Than $82,000 To Settle FTC Charges
It Violated Fair Credit Reporting Act
FTC Action: Auto Dealership Will Pay $80,000 Penalty for Violating
2012 Order Prohibiting Deceptive Advertising of Vehicle Costs
October is #CyberAware month! Click for tips
to keep you safe, secure and responsible online.
New credit and debit #chipcards are coming to your wallet. The FTC
has tips on what to know and how they work.
The FTC has new #multilingual materials to help #refugees and #immigrants
spot, avoid and #reportscams.