ICFE eNEWS #15-33 - November 18th 2015
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Penn News for November 2015

News from the Federal Trade Commission

Abusive Debt Collection Crackdown

The FTC and more than 70 federal, state and local government agencies brought 115 enforcement actions in a nationwide crackdown against abusive debt collectors. Operation Collection Protection included cases against debt collectors who the FTC says threatened and harassed consumers about debts that they didn't owe. According to the FTC, some debt collectors pretended to be government officials, and threatened people with jail, lawsuits and wage garnishment if they didn't pay. Other enforcement actions were against debt collectors who failed to provide required disclosures and notices.

Sprint Fails To Give Notice

The FTC filed a complaint against Sprint for failing to give customers a Risk-Based Pricing Notice. The notice tells customers that the company could use the information in their credit report to give them less favorable terms, or charge them more for a service than someone with a better credit history. According to the FTC, Sprint violated the law because it imposed a monthly fee of $7.99 on customers with a lower credit score and failed to tell them about the negative information in their credit report.

Hospital Merger Blocked

The FTC challenged the proposed merger of two hospitals located three miles apart in Huntington, West Virginia. The FTC's administrative complaint charges that the merger would create a near monopoly for general acute care inpatient hospital services and outpatient surgical services for patients in the Huntington area, likely leading to higher prices and lower quality of care. The Commission also authorized staff to block the merger in federal court, if necessary, to prevent the hospitals from merging.

Free Debt Collection Materials

Do you know what your rights are when debt collectors come calling? Or how to detect and avoid debt collection scams? The FTC has free education materials available in English or Spanish to help.

"Being in debt is stressful enough for many Americans without also being subjected to intimidation and false threats. Debtors have certain rights and rogue collectors that step outside the law will face the consequences of illegal behavior." - FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez

Start with Security Videos

Does your company use personal information? The FTC has a series of two-minute Start with Security videos that illustrate lessons businesses can learn from the agency's 50+ data security settlements. For more information about how to comply with consumer protection law, visit the FTC Business Center.

Phony Tech Support Scams

The FTC took action against two phony tech support companies, Pairsys, Inc. and Click4 Support, with charges that they made false claims about having found security or performance issues on peoples' computers. The FTC alleges that both companies lured people to their websites with pop-up ads about bogus tech support services. When people called a phone number in one of the ads, the companies asked for remote access to fix their computers because of a virus, spyware or malware. The FTC says the companies tricked people into paying up to thousands of dollars for services they didn't need, that didn't help, and that sometimes damaged computers. Pairsys, Inc. has agreed to settle the FTC charges.


FTC Approves Final Consent Order Against BMW of North America
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Wet Wipe Manufacturer to Substantiate "Flushability" Advertising Claims
FTC Approves Final Consent Order Against Las Vegas Auto Dealers For Misleading Consumers About Cost of Cars
FTC Action Bans Scammers from Advance Fee Recovery Business

#Medicare open enrollment scams are taking advantage of #olderpeople.
#Avoid this #scam with FTC tips
Looking for free #FinancialLiteracy materials for #students? Check out the FTC's resource for #teachers #educators
Some #debtcollectors are calling about #debts that aren't real. Know your #LegalRights.

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Sent by:

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

ICFE - Institute of Consumer Financial Education - ICFE.info - 619.239.1401