ICFE eNEWS #15-32 - October 22nd 2015
View this eNEWS online
Penn News for October 2015
News 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
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 to 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 reduce competition.
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
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. http://go.usa.gov/3ukUP
New credit and debit #chipcards are coming to your wallet. The FTC has
tips on what to know and how they work. http://go.usa.gov/3uJhB
The FTC has new #multilingual materials to help #refugees and
#immigrants spot, avoid and #reportscams. http://go.usa.gov/3ukGd
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ICFE - Institute of Consumer Financial Education -