FOR THE CONSUMER
The FTC's monthly newsletter for the Congressional community
It's the news you - and your constituents - can use.
Volume 5 - Number 8
IN THIS ISSUE
MARK YOUR CALENDARS. The FTC will host three days of public hearings to examine evolving technology and consumer protection in the coming decade. The event will bring together experts from business, government and the technology sector, consumer advocates, academicians, and law enforcement officials. The hearings will be held November 6-8 at the Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC, and will be free and open to the public. On November 9, the FTC will host a non-public meeting of invited law enforcers and other government officials to examine the implications of emerging technologies on consumer protection in the coming decade. For more about the hearings: www.ftc.gov/techade. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/07/techade.htm
SEE YA SEASILVER. A U.S. District Court has ordered the marketers of Seasilver, an alleged phony cure-all, to pay almost $120 million for failing to comply with the court's previous order to pay consumer redress. Seasilver is a liquid dietary supplement containing aloe vera, phyto-silver sea vegetables, herbs, and cranberry concentrate. Its promoters claimed it was clinically proven to treat or cure 650 diseases, including cancer and AIDS, and cause rapid, substantial, and permanent weight loss without dieting. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/07/seasilver.htm
DEBT COLLECTORS. A company that allegedly used lies and threats to collect debts has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle FTC charges that its tactics violated federal laws. The FTC alleged that Whitewing Financial Group, Inc. tried to collect on very old debts, many of which were beyond statutory limitations, too old to appear on credit reports, or discharged in bankruptcy. In phone calls, Whitewing allegedly pressured consumers and confused them about their rights. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/07/whitewing.htm
THROWN OUT OF SCHOOL. An operation that sold bogus college financial aid services and repeatedly violated court orders has been permanently banned from selling academic goods or services. In its original case, the FTC charged that Integrated Capital, Inc. promised (but never delivered) better college financial aid packages than students could find on their own. Settlement of those charges barred the defendants from making deceptive claims but they violated the order by continuing the practices. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/07/nsfa.htm
GOING, GOING, GONE: USING WIRE TRANSFERS FOR INTERNET AUCTION PURCHASES CAN BE RISKY. Explains that bidders in Internet auctions shouldn't wire money to people they don't know and trust, and describes some common scams targeting bidders. 8.5"x11", 2 pages. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt169.htm
AT-HOME GENETIC TESTS: A HEALTHY DOSE OF SKEPTICISM MAY BE THE BEST PRESCRIPTION. Advises consumers about the marketing, sale and use of at-home genetic tests. 8.5"x11", 4 pages. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/health/hea02.htm
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) maintains a two-part rating system for video and computer games. The FTC has a new online quiz to educate parents about the ESRB's rating system. Test your knowledge of the ratings and what they mean at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/multimedia/quizzes/ratings/index.html
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