Pyes Safety Spot https://www.pyessafetyspot.com Your Spot for all of your Personal Safety and Self Defense products. Sat, 09 Dec 2017 20:01:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 https://i0.wp.com/www.pyessafetyspot.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-my_logo_noback-e1505970957104.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Pyes Safety Spot https://www.pyessafetyspot.com 32 32 104106043 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/wp-content/plugins/squirrly-seo/view/css/feed.css FTC Announces Agenda for Second Economic Liberty Public Roundtable https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/ftc-announces-agenda-for-second-economic-liberty-public-roundtable/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:27:48 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/10/19/ftc-announces-agenda-for-second-economic-liberty-public-roundtable/ Focus on evidence regarding the effects of occupational licensing

The Federal Trade Commission’s Economic Liberty Task Force has announced the agenda for its second roundtable in Washington, DC on November 7, 2017, to examine empirical evidence on the effects of occupational licensing.

Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen will give opening remarks at the November 7 roundtable, “The Effects of Occupational Licensure on Competition, Consumers, and the Workforce: Empirical Research and Results.” The event will bring together experts who have studied and attempted to quantify the effects of occupational licensing regulations on service providers, consumers, and markets.

The Task Force’s first roundtable, held in July, focused on enhancing license portability across state lines.

The November 7 roundtable will focus on the ability of empirical research to clarify costs and benefits, and to better inform policy makers’ discussions of occupational licensing reform.

It is free to the public and begins at 1 p.m. at Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. The FTC invites comments from the public on the topics to be addressed. For further information on the roundtable and the public comment process, including a list of suggested questions open for comment, please view the roundtable website.

Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen established the Task Force earlier this year as her first major policy initiative for the agency. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. jobs require a license today, up from less than five percent in the 1950s. Occupational licensing can sometimes be necessary to protect public health and safety, which benefits consumers and serves important state policy interests. But even in those situations, state-specific licensing requirements can impose barriers to entry on qualified workers who have moved from another state, or want to work across state lines. For some occupations, licensing and many of the particular license-related restrictions adopted in some states may not protect public health and safety in sufficient amounts to justify the costs to workers and consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission develops policy initiatives on issues that affect competition, consumers, and the U.S. economy. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
5127
Victory Media Settles FTC Charges Concerning Its Promotion of Post-Secondary Schools to Military Consumers https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/victory-media-settles-ftc-charges-concerning-its-promotion-of-post-secondary-schools-to-military-consumers/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:27:44 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/10/19/victory-media-settles-ftc-charges-concerning-its-promotion-of-post-secondary-schools-to-military-consumers/ The Federal Trade Commission and Victory Media, Inc. have reached a proposed administrative consent agreement resolving allegations that Victory Media violated Section 5 of the FTC Act in connection with its promotion of post-secondary schools to military consumers.

Victory Media reaches servicemembers through its magazines G.I. Jobs, the Guide to Military Friendly Schools, and Military Spouse, its websites, including militaryfriendly.com, militaryspouse.com, and gijobs.com, and on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. According to the FTC’s complaint, some of the company’s advice and tools deceptively promoted schools that paid the company for those promotions, including some schools the company had deemed not “military friendly.”

“Servicemembers and their families put themselves on the line every day to protect our nation,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “We owe it to them to make sure that when they look to further their education, they get straight talk instead of advertising in disguise.”

Among other offerings, Victory Media helps servicemembers find the right educational choice through an online Matchmaker tool that purports to search schools it deems “military friendly,” a designation Victory Media created based on publicly available data and a voluntary survey related to the educational needs and interests of military students. According to the complaint, beginning in mid-2015, the company has included schools as possible search results for its Matchmaker tool only if the schools paid it to be included, regardless of whether the company has designated them as “military friendly” under its criteria. Victory Media also has endorsed individual schools in certain articles, emails, and social media posts it creates discussing educational opportunities without disclosing that, in many cases, the schools paid the company to be endorsed in those specific materials.

The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint and to accept the consent agreement was 2-0. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through November 20, 2017, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Interested parties can submit comments electronically by following the instructions in the “Invitation To Comment” part of the “Supplementary Information” section.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $40,654.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
5126
Statement of Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen on First Annual Review of EU-U.S.-Privacy Shield https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/statement-of-acting-ftc-chairman-maureen-k-ohlhausen-on-first-annual-review-of-eu-u-s-privacy-shield/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:27:39 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/10/19/statement-of-acting-ftc-chairman-maureen-k-ohlhausen-on-first-annual-review-of-eu-u-s-privacy-shield/ Acting Federal Trade Commission Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen has issued the following statement regarding the release of the European Commission’s Report on the first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

“We welcome the positive outcome of the first EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Annual Review. Enforcing international privacy frameworks such as Privacy Shield is an integral part of our Privacy and Data Security program, as highlighted in three recently announced Privacy Shield enforcement actions. We look forward to continuing to work with our European counterparts to ensure that the Privacy Shield remains a robust mechanism for protecting privacy and enabling transatlantic data flows.”

For more information on the FTC’s enforcement of the Privacy Shield Framework please see the FTC’s Privacy Shield Page.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
5125
FTC Obtains Court Order Against Scheme that Sold Fake Payday Loan Debt Portfolios https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/ftc-obtains-court-order-against-scheme-that-sold-fake-payday-loan-debt-portfolios/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:27:36 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/10/19/ftc-obtains-court-order-against-scheme-that-sold-fake-payday-loan-debt-portfolios/ Debt collectors used them to collect on debts people did not owe

The Federal Trade Commission has obtained a $4.1 million judgment and a ban on handling certain sensitive financial information about consumer debts against an operation that sold lists of fake payday loan debts to debt collectors.

A federal court issued a default judgment granting what the FTC sought in a complaint filed in 2016. The complaint alleged that Joel Jerome Tucker, SQ Capital LLC, JT Holdings Inc. and HPD LLC sold lists of fake payday loan debts naming millions of consumers, which debt collectors then used to demand payment. The lists had extensive personal information, including social security and bank account numbers. As a result, many people were harassed for debts they did not owe, and some were persuaded to pay the fake debts.

Several of the sold lists claimed that the phony loans came from a made-up lender, “Castle Peak,” or from an online loan provider known as “500FastCash.” To add credibility to the fake 500FastCash payday loans, Joel Tucker invoked the name of his brother, Scott A. Tucker, a payday loan vendor who marketed loans under the 500FastCash brand. In a previous FTC case, in October 2016, Scott Tucker was ordered to pay $1.3 billion for deceiving consumers and illegally charging them undisclosed and inflated fees. He was recently found guilty of related criminal charges in the Southern District of New York.

The judgment announced today directs the defendants to pay more than $4.1 million they received from selling phony debt portfolios. It also bans them from handling sensitive debt information, including bank account numbers, credit or debit card numbers, or social security numbers. The order requires the defendants to destroy the personal information they used, and prohibits them from misrepresenting material facts about debts and any product or service.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas denied the defendants’ request to excuse their default and, at the FTC’s request, entered the default judgment against them on September 20, 2017.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
5124
U.S. District Court Rules in FTC’s Favor, Imposes $40 Million Judgment Against Weight-Loss Supplement Marketers for Order Violations https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/u-s-district-court-rules-in-ftcs-favor-imposes-40-million-judgment-against-weight-loss-supplement-marketers-for-order-violations/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:27:32 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/10/19/u-s-district-court-rules-in-ftcs-favor-imposes-40-million-judgment-against-weight-loss-supplement-marketers-for-order-violations/ Sanction is one of the largest the Commission has received in a dietary supplement case

 A federal district judge in Atlanta has issued an order finding several defendants, including repeat offender Jared Wheat, in contempt for violating previous court orders related to the sale of weight-loss dietary supplements. The order imposes a more than $40 million judgment against the defendants, part or all of which the Federal Trade Commission may use to provide refunds to deceived consumers who bought the products.

In imposing the monetary sanctions, the court noted that, “The defendants very clearly exhibited a pattern of contemptuous conduct since these proceedings began. [They] dispensed deception to those with the greatest need to believe it, and – not surprisingly – generated a handsome profit for their efforts.”

According to the court, the defendants, who ran an operation known as Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., continued to deceptively market dietary supplements with unsubstantiated claims such as “rapid fat loss,” “fat burner,” “EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS GUARANTEED,” and “curbs the appetite,” in violation of a 2008 order.

The FTC’s case against the defendants began in November 2004, when it filed a complaint charging them with making deceptive claims about the efficacy and safety of “Thermalean” and “Lipodrene,” purported weight-loss products containing ephedra, and “Spontane-ES,” a supposed erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment containing yohimbine. The complaint named National Urological Group, Inc.; National Institute for Weight Loss, Inc.; Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Wheat; Thomas Holda; Stephen Smith, Michael Howell; and Dr. Terrill Mark Wright.

In December 2008, a federal district court found in favor of the FTC and ordered the defendants to pay $15.8 million, which the FTC has used to provide redress to injured consumers. The court’s final order also permanently barred the defendants from claiming that their products cause rapid or substantial weight- or fat loss, or affect body fat, appetite, or metabolism unless the claims are true and supported by scientific evidence.

In November 2011, the FTC sought sanctions against Hi-Tech, Wheat, and Smith for violating the 2008 final order. The FTC alleged that, beginning in 2009, these defendants made prohibited weight-loss claims for four dietary supplements – Fastin, Lipodrene, Benzedrine, and Stimerex-ES — despite lacking competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate those claims. After the defendants appealed a previous ruling by the district court, the case proceeded to trial in the spring of 2017, resulting in the order in favor of the FTC announced today.

The court order finding contempt and imposing the sanctions against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Jared Wheat, Stephen Smith, and Dr. Terrill Mark Wright was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on October 10, 2017. The court has requested that the FTC submit a final order memorializing the sanctions ruling within 20 days of its issuance.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
5123
FTC, State Law Enforcement Partners Announce Nationwide Crackdown on Student Loan Debt Relief Scams https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/ftc-state-law-enforcement-partners-announce-nationwide-crackdown-on-student-loan-debt-relief-scams/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:26:17 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/10/19/ftc-state-law-enforcement-partners-announce-nationwide-crackdown-on-student-loan-debt-relief-scams/ FTC, State Law Enforcement Partners Announce Nationwide Crackdown on Student Loan Debt Relief Scams

Scammers made false promises and charged illegal upfront fees of more than $95 million

Operation Game of LoansThe Federal Trade Commission, along with 11 states and the District of Columbia, today announced “Operation Game of Loans,” the first coordinated federal-state law enforcement initiative targeting deceptive student loan debt relief scams. This nationwide crackdown encompasses 36 actions by the FTC and state attorneys general against scammers alleged to have used deception and false promises of relief to take more than $95 million in illegal upfront fees from American consumers over a number of years.

Student loan debt affects more than 42 million Americans and, with outstanding balances of more than $1.4 trillion, student loans are the second largest segment of U.S. debt, after mortgages.

Operation Game of Loans includes seven FTC actions: five new cases, one new judgment in favor of the FTC, and a preliminary injunction entered in a case filed earlier this year. The agency alleges that the defendants in these actions charged consumers illegal upfront fees, falsely promised to help reduce or forgive student loan debt burdens, and pretended to be affiliated with the government or loan servicers, in violation of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act. Operation Game of Loans also includes law enforcement actions by Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

36 FTC and State enforcement actions, 11 States and the District of Columbia, Scammers collected over $95 million in illegal fees.

“Winter is coming for debt relief scams that prey on hardworking Americans struggling to pay back their student loans,” said Maureen K. Ohlhausen, FTC Acting Chairman. “The FTC is proud to work with state partners to protect consumers from these scams, help them learn how to spot a scam, and let them know where to go for legitimate help.”

In addition to its state partners, the FTC has been working closely with the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid to raise awareness about student loan debt relief schemes, and ensure that borrowers know to visit StudentAid.gov/repay for information about existing repayment and forgiveness programs available to them at no cost.

Screenshot of sample deceptive student debt relief ad.
(Screenshot of sample deceptive student debt relief ad)

Five New FTC Actions Halt Scams

The FTC recently filed five new cases against 30 defendants as part of Operation Game of Loans. In each action, the FTC obtained temporary restraining orders (TROs) that halted the scams and froze defendants’ assets. The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the complaint in each action was 2-0.

  • A1 DocPrep, Inc.: In an action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the FTC charged that Los Angeles-based A1 DocPrep took at least $6 million from consumers through unlawful student loan debt relief and mortgage assistance relief schemes. According to the complaint, the defendants claimed to be from the Department of Education, and promised to reduce borrowers’ monthly payments or forgive their loans. The FTC also alleges the defendants targeted distressed homeowners, making false promises to consumers that they would provide mortgage relief and prevent foreclosure. Rather than helping consumers, A1 DocPrep’s CEO, defendant Homan Ardalan, spent hundreds of thousands of consumers’ dollars on cars, jewelry, nightclubs, and restaurants, according to the FTC. The Court entered a TRO on September 28, 2017. Additional defendants named in the complaint are Stream Lined Marketing, d/b/a Project Uplift Students and Project Uplift America, and Bloom Law Group PC, d/b/a/ Home Shield Network and Keep Your Home USA.
  • American Student Loan Consolidators (ASLC): In an action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the FTC charged that ASLC, d/b/a ASLC Processing, and BBND Marketing, LLC, d/b/a United Processing Center, United SL Processing, and United Student Loan Processing, and principals Daniel Upbin and Patrick O’Deady bilked student loan borrowers out of at least $11 million by falsely promising loan forgiveness, lowered monthly payments, and reduced interest rates. The FTC alleges that the Deerfield Beach, Florida operation pretended to be affiliated with the Department of Education and loan servicers. The defendants also tricked consumers into believing that illegal upfront fees, typically up to $799, were being used to pay off student loans. The court entered a TRO on September 26, 2017.
  • Alliance Document Preparation: In an action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the FTC charged that Los Angeles-based Alliance Document Preparation, d/b/a EZ Doc Preps, Grads Aid, and First Document Aid, took more than $20 million from consumers by charging illegal upfront fees of up to $1,000. The defendants deceptively marketed their purported services primarily on social media platforms like Facebook. The court entered a TRO on September 28, 2017. Other named defendants include: SBS Capital Group, Inc.; SBB Holdings, LLC; First Student Aid, LLC; United Legal Center, LLC; United Legal Center, Inc.; Elite Consulting Service, LLC; Grads Doc Prep, LLC; Elite Doc Prep, LLC; Benjamin Naderi; Shawn Gabbaie; Avinadav Rubeni; Michael Ratliff; Ramiar Reuveni; and Farzan Azinkhan. Defendants also used the fictitious names Grads United Discharge, Allied Doc Prep, Post Grad Services, Post Grad Aid, Alumni Aid Assistance, United Legal Discharge, First Grad Aid, Academic Aid Center, Academic Protection, Academy Doc Prep, Academic Discharge, and Premier Student Aid.
  • Student Debt Doctor (SDD): In an action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the FTC charged that Fort Lauderdale-based SDD and its owner, Gary Brent White, Jr., collected at least $7 million from consumers struggling to pay student loan debt. According to the complaint, the defendants charged illegal upfront fees of $750 or more. Using social media, e-mail, and telemarketing, SDD promoted its services across the United States, in English and Spanish. SDD falsely promised consumers loan forgiveness often in as little as five years or less, and told consumers not to communicate with their loan servicers. The defendants also fabricated income, unemployment status, and family size information on relief applications in order to qualify borrowers for eliminated or reduced monthly payments. The court entered a TRO on October 3, 2017.
  • Student Debt Relief Group (SDRG): In an action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the FTC charged that Los Angeles-based M&T Financial Group and American Counseling Center Corp., d/b/a Student Debt Relief Group, SDRG, StuDebt, Student Loan Relief Counselors, SLRC, and Capital Advocates, and principal Salar Tahour bilked at least $7.3 million from consumers struggling to repay their student loans. According to the complaint, the defendants falsely claimed to be affiliated with the Department of Education, deceived consumers into paying up to $1,000 in illegal upfront fees to enter them into free government programs, and charged consumers monthly fees they claimed would be credited toward their student loans. In reality, the FTC alleged, defendants pocketed consumers’ money and responded to mounting consumer complaints by changing their name rather than their business practices. The FTC also asserts that the defendants deceived consumers into providing them with Social Security numbers and Federal Student Aid identification information, allowing the defendants to hijack consumers’ accounts while cutting them off from their loan servicers and the Department of Education. The court entered a TRO on September 19, 2017, and a stipulated preliminary injunction on October 10, 2017.

Two New FTC Law Enforcement Developments

Operation Game of Loans also includes two pending FTC actions against 11 additional student loan debt relief scammers, in which federal courts recently entered significant orders.

  • Student Aid Center: On August 31, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted summary judgment against defendant Ramiro Fernandez-Moris in a joint action filed by the FTC and the State of Florida. The Court found that defendants’ unlawful student loan debt relief enterprise took more than $35 million from student loan borrowers by enticing consumers to sign up for services using misleading and false claims. In particular, Student Aid Center misled consumers to believe that they could receive loan forgiveness or modification if they paid unlawful upfront fees, and tricked consumers into thinking the operation was involved in the approval process. Motions for default judgment against two other defendants are pending before the Court, and the proposed final orders against all three defendants are subject to final Court approval.
  • Strategic Student Solutions: On May 26, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered a stipulated preliminary injunction in the FTC’s case against Strategic Student Solutions, freezing defendants’ assets, halting the organization’s student loan debt relief operation, and appointing a receiver to control the business for the remainder of the litigation. The FTC alleged that the defendants took more than $11 million from consumers by falsely promising to reduce or eliminate their student loan debt and offering them non-existent credit repair services.

How to Avoid Student Loan Debt Relief Scams

To help consumers avoid falling victim to such fraud, the FTC has updated its consumer education related to student loan debt relief scams at ftc.gov/StudentLoans. As a follow-up to the sweep of law enforcement actions, the FTC later this month will be holding a Twitter chat with state attorneys general and a Facebook Live session with staff attorney experts on ways to avoid student loan debt relief scams.

Consumers should remember that only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness, and that scammers often pretend to be affiliated with the government. And consumers should never pay an upfront fee for help, and should not share their FSA ID—a username and password used to log in to U.S. Department of Education websites—with anyone.

Consumers can apply for loan deferments, forbearance, repayment and forgiveness or discharge programs directly through the U.S. Department of Education or their loan servicer at no cost; these programs do not require the assistance of a third-party company or payment of application fees. For federal student loan repayment options, visit StudentAid.gov/repay. For private student loans, contact the loan servicer directly.

Repaying student loans? Avoid scams. Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness. Never pay a fee up front for help. Scammers can fake a government seal. Don't share your FSA ID with anyone. Report scams to ftc.gov/complaint. Looking for free help? Start with studentaid.gov.

The FTC thanks all of those who helped with this operation, including state attorneys general participating in this initiative and the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid, with particular help on FTC law enforcement actions from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Florida Attorney General; the Georgia Attorney General; the New York Attorney General; the California Department of Justice; the Florida Office of Financial Regulation; the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services; the Broward County (FL) Sheriff’s Department; the Boca Raton Police Department; the Los Angeles Police Department; and the Better Business Bureaus of Southeast Florida & the Caribbean and Los Angeles & Silicon Valley.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The cases will be decided by the court.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
5121
FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition in U.S. Market for Industrial Switchboxes https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/ftc-approves-final-order-preserving-competition-in-u-s-market-for-industrial-switchboxes/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 20:35:16 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/07/01/ftc-approves-final-order-preserving-competition-in-u-s-market-for-industrial-switchboxes/ Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Emerson Electric Co.’s acquisition of Pentair plc would be anticompetitive.

First announced in April 2017, the complaint alleged that the proposed acquisition would likely harm competition in the United States market for industrial switchboxes, which are devices used to monitor and control valves that regulate the flow of liquids and gases in industrial facilities such as oil refineries. Emerson’s TopWorx and Pentair’s Westlock brands account for about 60 percent of the market and are the two leading brands of switchboxes in the United States.

Under the order, Emerson is required to sell Pentair’s switchbox business, Westlock Controls Corporation, to Stamford, Conn.-based Crane Co. and provide Crane all of Westlock’s production facilities, intellectual property, confidential business information, and the opportunity to hire Westlock employees.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 2-0. (FTC File No. 161 0221; the staff contacts are Jonathan Platt and Ryan Harsch, FTC Northeast Region, 212-607-2819 and 212-607-2805.)

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about how competition benefits consumers or file an antitrust complaint. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
4951
FTC Returns Money to Victims of Abusive Debt Collection Operation https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/ftc-returns-money-to-victims-of-abusive-debt-collection-operation/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 20:35:13 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/07/01/ftc-returns-money-to-victims-of-abusive-debt-collection-operation/ The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 4,380 checks totaling more than $550,000 to people harmed by Houston-based Goldman Schwartz, Inc., a debt collection operation that also used other business names, including Cole, Tanner & Wright and Harris County Check Recovery.

The FTC sued Goldman Schwartz for multiple law violations, including making false threats and collecting bogus attorney’s fees and other unauthorized charges. The defendants were banned from the debt collection business under a settlement with the FTC.

Injured consumers will receive approximately 28 percent of the money they paid Goldman Schwartz. The average check amount is $127.

The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. If they have questions about the case, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting Inc., at 866-683-7387.

To learn more about the FTC’s refund program, visit www.ftc.gov/refunds.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
4950
FTC and Other Consumer Protection Agencies Unveil Updated Website for International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/ftc-and-other-consumer-protection-agencies-unveil-updated-website-for-international-consumer-protection-and-enforcement-network/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 20:35:11 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/07/01/ftc-and-other-consumer-protection-agencies-unveil-updated-website-for-international-consumer-protection-and-enforcement-network/ The Federal Trade Commission and consumer protection agencies in more than 60 other countries that are part of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) today unveiled an update of ICPEN’s website – www.icpen.org – to help members identify and respond to consumer challenges that cross international borders.

ICPEN is an international network of consumer protection authorities that aims to protect consumers from fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair commercial practices around the world by sharing information about cross-border issues and encouraging global cooperation among law enforcement agencies. ICPEN’s updated website, which includes a mobile-friendly version, provides consumers with information on how to avoid scams and shop safely online. The site also includes information about how consumers can find help and file a complaint in cross-border disputes.

Consumers who believe they have been a victim of an international scam can file a complaint at www.econsumer.gov, ICPEN’s online complaint site. The econsumer.gov website is available in eight languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Spanish, and Turkish.

ICPEN’s updated website also provides new tools for members to share intelligence securely on emerging fraudulent, deceptive and unfair commercial practices.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission led ICPEN’s website update project under the presidency term held by the German Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer Protection (2016-17). The incoming president, the Turkish Ministry of Customs, will introduce additional improvements during its term, which begins on July 1.

The Federal Trade Commission works with foreign governments to promote international cooperation and sound policy. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases and the FTC International Monthly for the latest FTC news and resources.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
4949
FTC, NHTSA Workshop to Focus on Privacy, Security Issues Related to Connected Cars https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/ftc-nhtsa-workshop-to-focus-on-privacy-security-issues-related-to-connected-cars/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 20:35:09 +0000 https://www.pyessafetyspot.com/2017/07/01/ftc-nhtsa-workshop-to-focus-on-privacy-security-issues-related-to-connected-cars/ WHAT: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will hold a workshop on June 28, 2017 in Washington, D.C., to examine the consumer privacy and security issues posed by automated and connected vehicles. WHEN: Wednesday June 28, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 pm EDT WHERE: Constitution Center
400 7th St SW
Washington, D.C. 20024 WHO: FTC Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen and NHTSA Acting Executive Director Terry T. Shelton, as well as industry representatives, consumer advocates, government officials, and others. WEBCAST: The conference will be webcast. TWITTER: The FTC will live-tweet the event on @FTC using the hashtag #ConnectedCarsFTC. Attendees and viewers are encouraged to join in the discussion.

Powered by WPeMatico

]]>
4948