ICFE eNEWS #16-24 - July 16th 2016
Penn Corner July 2016 - Update from the Federal Trade Commission
Consumers get $10 Billion for Volkswagen's False Clean Air Claims
The FTC entered into a partial settlement with Volkswagen in
which the company agreed to pay up to $10 billion to owners and
lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars that it claimed had
low levels of harmful emissions, but did not. The settlements do
not resolve pending claims for civil penalties or any claims concerning
3.0 liter diesel vehicles. In a related partial settlement with
the U.S. Department of Justice and the California Attorney General,
Volkswagen will spend an additional $4.7 billion to mitigate pollution
and make investments supporting increased use of zero-emissions
vehicles. This is the largest false advertising case in FTC history,
with nearly 500,000 cars affected. More information is available
"[This] announcement shows
the high cost of violating our consumer protection and environmental
laws. Just as importantly, consumers who were cheated by Volkswagen's
deceptive advertising campaign will be able to get full and fair
compensation, not only for the lost or diminished value of their
car but also for the other harms that VW caused them."
Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman, FTC
Herbalife to Refund $200 Million
The FTC announced a settlement with Herbalife that significantly
restructures how the company does business - by rewarding participants
for what they sell, rather than how many people they recruit. The
settlement also will return $200 million to people who lost the
most money to the company. Through extensive marketing in English
and Spanish, Herbalife told people they could change their lives,
quit their jobs, or even get rich by selling the company's weight
management and nutrition products. Hundreds of thousands of people
signed up - but, says the FTC, most made little or no money. Details
on refunds will follow.
Warner Bros. Filed to Disclose Endorsers Were Paid
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment agreed to settle FTC charges
that it didn't properly disclose that it paid online influencers
to post favorable reviews of its video game, "Middle Earth:
Shadow of Mordor." The FTC says Warner Bros. paid the reviewers
thousands of dollars to post positive gameplay videos on YouTube
and other social media as part of a marketing campaign, but didn't
require them to clearly disclose that they were paid to tout the
game. The order bans Warner Bros. from these deceptive practices
in the future.
Seller of Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal and Addiction Settles
Sunrise Nutraceuticals, LLC, which claimed its dietary supplement,
Elimidrol, was the "#1 Opiate Withdrawal Supplement,"
settled an FTC complaint that its statements about the powder's
effectiveness were false and misleading. The company said Elimidrol
could help people permanently overcome addiction to prescription
opiates, heroin, methadone, and suboxone, and that it would alleviate
the harsh effects of withdrawal. But the FTC's investigation revealed
those claims weren't backed by science. The proposed order requires
Sunrise to pay $235,000 and to have solid scientific evidence to
back claims for opiate treatments going forward.
Can Manufacturers Sell Facilities to Settle Pre-Merger Complaint
The two largest makers of aluminum cans will sell several manufacturing
facilities to settle FTC charges that their merger would likely
lead to higher can prices in three regions in the United States.
Ball Corporation agreed to sell eight aluminum can plants and related
assets to proceed with its $8.4 billion acquisition of Rexam PLC.
Prior to the merger, both companies made standard 12-ounce aluminum
cans as well as specialty cans that range in size from 7.5 ounces
to 24 ounces, which are used for a wide variety of products, such
as energy drinks.
New FTC Resources Break Down the Car-Buying Process
The FTC has four new videos with important tips for each stage
of the car-buying process. These mobile-friendly videos, also available
in Spanish, cover Spotting Deceptive Car Ads, Buying a Used Car,
Financing a Car, and Understanding Car Add-ons. Also, be sure to
check out the FTC's new Spanish-language fotonovela, Avoid Car-Buying
Trouble, which can help buyers avoid problems with dealership financing.
Court Bans Fake Debt Collector
The FTC obtained a court order to ban The Primary Group and Gail
Daniels from the debt collection business for allegedly threatening
people - via texts, emails and calls - with arrest or lawsuits if
they didn't make payments…which people didn't even owe.
FTC Stops OSHA Scam Targeting Small Businesses
The FTC got a federal court to stop D&S Marketing Solutions
from allegedly tricking small businesses into paying up to $200
for government regulation posters that are actually free. D&S
allegedly told businesses they were violating federal law by not
having the posters and threatened to shut the businesses down unless
they bought them.
Operators of Tech Support Scam Settle Charges
Several phony tech support companies settled charges by the FTC
and the State of Florida that they lied about finding security or
performance issues on peoples' computers. Under the settlement,
Vast Tech Support, LLC and OMG Tech Help, LLC and their chief operating
officer, Mark Donohue, are prohibited from misleading consumers
about the nature of the products they sell or market, as well as
from deceptive telemarketing. In addition, Vast Tech Support and
OMG Tech Help are prohibited from advertising, promoting or selling
any tech support products or services.
Your Money Back
Volkswagen Will Provide up to $10 Billion to Owners and
Volkswagen will provide up to $10 billion to
owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars that it
claimed had low levels of harmful emissions, but did not. If you
think you're affected by the Volkswagen emissions case, visit VWCourtSettlement.com
and enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if your
FTC Returns More Than $6 Million to People
Who Bought Kevin Trudeau's Weight-Loss Book
is mailing checks totaling approximately $6.3 million to people
who bought Kevin Trudeau's book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They'
Don't Want You to Know About." Trudeau allegedly misrepresented
the book's content.
Refunds Going to Those who Bought
Green Coffee Bean Supplements
The FTC is mailing checks
to people who bought Genesis Today green coffee bean supplements
online. If you bought the supplements in a retail store such as
Walmart, you may still apply for a refund online, or print and mail
this PDF form. You might receive only a partial refund. Consumers
filing a claim on the FTC's site must do so by August 15, 2016.
If you get a refund check, deposit or cash it within 60 days of
the mailing date. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money
or to provide information before refund checks can be cashed. Want
information about the FTC's refund program? Visit ftc.gov/refunds.
IN OTHER NEWS:
FTC Raises Civil Penalty Maximums to Adjust for Inflation
FTC Approves Final
Order in Vipvape APEC Cross Border Privacy Rule Case
on Efforts to Stop Fraud Affecting Older Americans Before Senate
Does your #app respect your privacy?
#mobile apps work and what kinds of information they can share.
Before buying anything based on a review,
find out if the
reviewer has connections with the company. #onlinereview #productreview