FTC Announces Spike in Coronavirus Fraud, Suit Against Bogus SBA Lender

The FTC announced that its coronavirus-related fraud complaints have doubled in the last week to 7,800. The top categories of coronavirus-related fraud complaints include travel and vacation related reports about cancellations and refunds, reports about problems with online shopping, mobile texting scams, and government and business imposter scams. In fraud complaints that mentioned the coronavirus,…

PayPal Enters Consent Decree with FTC over Venmo Breaches

Venmo, a peer-to-peer mobile payment app acquired by PayPal, reached a consent decree over deceptive practices and privacy and data security issues. Funds Availability Policy The FTC charged that Venmo falsely represented that once a user credited their account the money could be freely transferred to your bank account.  In reality, despite many complaints, Venmo…

Ashley Madison Pays $1.6M in Data Breach, Fraud Settlement

In a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and 13 states, Ashley Madison agreed to pay $1.6 million dollars and implement a comprehensive data-security program, stemming from charges that the website deceived consumers and failed to protect 36 million users’ account and profile information in relation to a massive July 2015 data breach of their network.…

PayPal Pays $25M in CFPB Consent Decree

PayPal Pays $25M in CFPB Consent Decree This week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a complaint and proposed consent order in federal court against PayPal, Inc. for illegally signing up consumers for its online credit product, PayPal Credit, formerly known as Bill Me Later. The CFPB alleges that PayPal deceptively advertised promotional benefits that…

Cyber Report: A Dozen Things You Need to Know (Patriot’s Day Edition)

April 20, 2015 A Dozen Things in Tech You Need to Know  Happy Patriot’s Day! Patriot’s Day commemorates that Battle of Lexington and Concord and the “shot heard ’round the world” that began the American Revolution.  It is a holiday in Maine and Massachachusetts and celebrated by, among other things, the running of the Boston…

In The Courts: Overstock’s $6MM Hit, a Costly FB Rant and KlearGear Shoots Itself

Overstock Hit With $6.42 Million Fine From California Court Over Boosted Comparison Pricing In 2010, six Northern California County District Attorneys filed suit against Overstock for fraudulent price comparisons in Alameda County Superior Court. In one example cited in the lawsuit, Overstock advertised a patio set for sale for $449.99 and claimed that the “List…

CLBR Segment 2: News Update and Debates

NEWS UPDATE & FOLLOW UP Google to Block YouTube Video in Brazil Google Brazil to Take Down Controversial Video Chief Arrested Over Video Google Brazil Chief Arrested Over YouTube Video Cal Enacts Anti-Social Media Snooping Law Praised by ACLU Prof Goldman is a critic See Backgrounder for May 16th CLBR on this topic FTC Watch…

Washington Watch: FTC Expands COPPA Reach and Scrutinizing “Up to” Claims

FTC Proposal Would Expand COPPA Reach to Ad Networks Collecting Info from Children The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comment on proposed clarification of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to  expand the reach of sites covered by the act to include a plug-in or ad network is covered by the Rule when it knows or…

In The Courts: Domain Seizures Under Fire, CFAA Ruling, Adscend Consent Decree, Online Defamation Verdict and More

Growing  Criticism of Feds’ Domain Seizures Two high profile domain seizure cases have led to some strong criticism of federal law enforcment’s seizure of domains for copyright infringement.  When the Justice Department seized  and shutdown Dajaz1.com on November 24, 2010 for allegedly linking to four songs , it had a deadline of 90-days in which to…

In the Courts: Scareware, Facebook Trilogy and Double-Whammy and RIP Righthaven

Ascentive Settles Scareware Class Action for $9.6MM Software vendor Ascentive, best known for its FinallyFast product, has agreed to pay $9.6 million to settle a class-action complaint that alleged it tricked consumers into believing that their computers were underperforming by providing them with free ‘diagnostic scans’ that were designed to artificially report an exaggerated number…

FTC Nabs Fake News Affiliate Marketers

FTC Nabs Fake News Affiliate Marketers As part of its ongoing crackdown on fake news sites to promote acai berry and other products (see exhibit left), the FTC entered into a consent decree with Intermark Communications (d/b/a Copeac) for using fake news sites to promote its products.  According to the FTC Press Release: Copeac not…

Say It Isn’t So! FTC Busts Mobile Acne App

This one needs no explanation. But here is an excerpt from the FTC’s release nonetheless. “Acne Cure” Mobile App Marketers Will Drop Baseless Claims Under FTC Settlements Marketers who advertised that their smartphone applications could treat acne have agreed to stop making baseless claims in order to settle FTC charges. The mobile applications, commonly referred…

FTC Update: DotCom Guidelines Makeover and Enforcement

FTC Seeks to Update DotCom Disclosure Guidelines The FTC has announced that it will revisit the DotCom Disclosure Guidelines originally published in 2000.  Specifically, the FTC is seeking comment on issues such as how to adapt them to the mobile screen and multi-party selling arrangements.  (See blog for complete list).  Comments are due by August…