Archive for the ‘consumer protections’ Category

New federal bills expand consumer privacy rights

November 6, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved two new data security bills that greatly expand the consumer’s right to notice for any data breach involving he or her personal information.  The other bill will allow consumers to request that data brokers notify them about any personal information that is held for disclosure to third parties.

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Oprah sues diet pill makers

August 23, 2009

“Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Mehmet Oz say Internet companies used their name without permission to sell dietary supplements containing acai berries. Winfrey’s company, Harpo Inc., also assisted the Illinois Attorney General in filing three lawsuits to stop makers of the product. “

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Consumer agency could recall Chinese drywall

August 16, 2009

“Late this month or sometime next month, several government agencies are expected to release the results of their investigations into homeowner complaints of drywall imported from China containing corrosive elements that have damaged homes and occupant health. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, agencies could issue a recall of drywall imported from China if a significant electrical, fire, or health hazard is found to exist in homes built with the product. Some builders have stepped up to correct bad drywall installations, while class-action lawsuits are being developed to seek restitution for affected homeowners.”

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Chinese drywall complaints in 24 states

August 13, 2009

“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received about new 270 reports of defective Chinese drywall problems, bringing the total number of reports to at least 877 homes from 24 different states across the country.

The CPSC recently issued an August 2009 update to congressional lawmakers on the status of their investigation into the problems with defective Chinese drywall, which has been blamed for causing foul sulfuric odors, corroding wiring and electrical appliances, and various health complaints.”

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CA AG Brown threatens loan modification outfits

August 13, 2009

 “Threatening possible criminal and civil prosecution, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. [Wednesday] ordered 386 mortgage foreclosure consultants to post $100,000 bonds and register with his office. He also ordered more than two dozen companies to justify suspicious loan modification claims made in “slick advertising,” online and through the mail.”

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Do you know your state’s highway safety laws?

August 10, 2009

Here is a link to the Governors Highway Safety Association website that lists all states and laws on key safety issues:

http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/index.html

FTC sues calling card distributors

August 6, 2009

“The Federal Trade Commission extended its crackdown in the billion-dollar prepaid calling card industry, asking a U.S. district court to permanently halt the illegal practices of a major calling card distributor and its principals. The FTC has charged Diamond Phone Card, Inc., a distributor of prepaid calling cards based in Elmhurst, New York, and its principals with advertising that the calling cards they sold provided more minutes than they actually delivered. The complaint also alleges that the defendants failed to adequately disclose fees that could reduce the value of the calling cards. The FTC is seeking to force the defendants to give up the money they made through their deceptive tactics.”

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Cash for clunkers scams proliferate

August 2, 2009

“According to a new consumer alert from the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, people should be on the lookout for so-called “cash for clunker” Web sites that ask for personal information – including name, address, and Social Security number – that they claim is necessary to “register” for the program. The scam artists behind these sites are phishing for personal information that can be used to commit identity theft and other frauds.

While many Web sites provide details about the CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) program, there is only one official government site – www.cars.gov – and it does not ask for personal information. The FTC says consumers who come across a “cash for clunkers” Web site that encourages them to disclose personal information should report it to the FTC at www.ftc.gov, or 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The consumer alert, Steer Clear of “Cash for Clunkers” Scams, is at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt174.shtm

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FTC sues company for phone scam

July 31, 2009

“Diamond Phone Card and its officers Nasreen Gilani and Samsuddin Panjawani cheat customers of minutes by failing to disclose fees on prepaid calling cards, the FTC says in Brooklyn Federal Court.”

Complainit courtesy of Courthouse News

FTC sending checks to defrauded consumers

July 30, 2009

“On July 15, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission sent refund checks to consumers who allegedly had been defrauded in the case of FTC v. Integrity Financial Enterprises, LLC. Consumers who filed a claim with the FTC received checks averaging more than $200, which covered more than 85 percent of their losses. The refund checks must be cashed by September 13, 2009, or they become void.

In 2008, the FTC sued Integrity Financial Enterprises, LLC (which did business as Infinite Financial and National Benefits Exchange), National Benefits Exchange, Inc., and the companies’ owner, alleging that they promised consumers a “credit card” that could be used like a Visa or MasterCard for an up-front fee of $200 to $300, but which actually could be used only to buy products from the defendants’ Web site or catalog. The resulting court order and settlement in this case required the defendants to forfeit their financial assets to the FTC, which distributed the money to consumers who were harmed by the defendants’ conduct.”

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