ICFE eNEWS #15-26 - August 2015
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Penn News for August 2015
News from the Federal Trade Commission
Data Brokers Sell to Scammers
The FTC has charged a data broker operation with illegally selling
sensitive information from online payday loan applications to scammers
who then raided people's accounts. According to the complaint, the
information collected from applications included Social Security, credit
card, and bank account numbers. But instead of passing the information
on to legitimate payday lenders, the FTC says the company knowingly sold
it to scammers who used it to take millions out of people's accounts and
charge their credit cards.
Credit Repair Snare
Four people behind FTC Credit Solutions —
a credit repair scheme
that targeted Spanish speakers
— have agreed to settle FTC charges
that they tricked people into paying to get negative information removed
from their credit reports. According to the FTC, the company guaranteed
it could get people a credit score of 700 or more by removing the
information. To bolster its credibility, the company also claimed it was
licensed by the FTC. The truth: the FTC doesn't license credit repair
services, and removing accurate negative information from a credit
report is illegal. In addition to a $2.4 million judgment, the
defendants will be banned from the credit repair services industry.
Medicare Card Con
A group of government imposters — who convinced people to hand
over their bank account information to get new Medicare cards —
has agreed to settle FTC charges.
Scammers targeted older people,
telling them they needed bank account numbers to verify a person's
identity before a new Medicare card could be sent, the FTC says. They
assured people no money would be taken out. But the FTC says it was a
scam, and people later found several hundred dollars missing from their
accounts. Never give out financial or other sensitive information to
someone who calls you out of the blue. Read
Government Imposter Scams for more.
Trimming the Family Dollar Tree
Discount retailers Dollar Tree and Family Dollar
have agreed to sell 330 Family Dollar stores in 35 states to settle charges that Dollar Tree's
proposed $9.2 billion acquisition of Family Dollar would likely be
anticompetitive. According to the FTC, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar
stores compete head-to-head in price, product assortment, and quality,
as well as location and customer service. The FTC's order preserves that
competition by requiring Dollar Tree to sell the stores to a new owner
that will continue to operate them.
"Scammers used consumer information they bought from this operation to
make millions in unauthorized charges. Companies that collect people's
sensitive information and give it to scammers can expect to hear from
Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer
And the Winner Is... the FTC's Robocall Challenge
On August 13, the Partnership for Public Service presented the FTC's
Roberto Anguizola and Kathleen Daffan, as well as the General Services
Administration's Tammi Marcoullier, with the Basics Award for Ingenuity
and Results, sponsored by former FDIC Chairperson Sheila Bair. The team
created the FTC Robocall Challenge, which generated new technical tools
stop unsolicited and illegal telemarketing robocalls.
The FTC is returning money to people targeted by two different
Follow the Lead Generation Workshop
In the case of Innovative Wealth Builders, a telemarking operation that
falsely promised it could reduce people's credit card interest rates to
save them thousands, the FTC has sent 10,387 checks totaling more than
$969,000 to people who lost money.
- The FTC also is mailing 3,133 checks totaling more than $87,000 to
people who lost money to the
Your Yellow Book scheme, which tricked
small businesses, doctors' offices, retirement homes, religious schools,
and charitable organizations into paying for listings they didn't ask
for or want in an online "yellow pages" directory. More information
about the FTC's refund program is available on the FTC's website.
The FTC will hold a workshop, Follow the Lead: An FTC Workshop About
Online Lead Generation, on October 30, 2015, to explore the growing use
of online lead generation. This is where online lead generators identify
or cultivate consumer interest in a product or service, and then sell
the "lead" information to third parties — in industries including
consumer lending and education. The workshop is free and open to the
IN OTHER NEWS:
FTC Awards $25,000 Top Cash Prize for Contest-Winning Mobile App That
Blocks Illegal Robocalls
FTC Issues Statement of Principles Regarding Enforcement of FTC Act as a
"Melanoma Detection" App Sellers Barred from Making Deceptive Health
Back to school time means forms and more forms. Here are some tips to
keep your child's info safe.
Storms happen. Make your life easier by making sure your financial
documents are up-to-date, in one place, and portable.
Thinking about joining a gym? Here are a few tips to help you find a
club that fits your needs — and wallet.
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Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)
ICFE - Institute of Consumer Financial Education -