Wednesday, July 01, 2009

FTC Opens All Out Assault on Economic Cyber-Scammers

Michael Cooney writes on NetworkWorld:

The Federal Trade Commission today announced a wide-ranging attack on cyber-vultures looking to feast on the current moribund economic situation.

Dubbed “Operation Short Change,” the law enforcement sweep announced today includes 15 FTC cases, 44 law enforcement actions by the Department of Justice, and actions by at least 13 states against those looking to bilk consumers through a variety of schemes, such as promising non-existent jobs; promoting overhyped get-rich-quick plans, bogus government grants, and phony debt-reduction services; or putting unauthorized charges on consumers’ credit or debit cards.

“Thousands of people have been swindled out of millions of dollars by scammers who are exploiting the economic downturn,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection during a press conference today. “Their scams may promise job placement, access to free government grant money, or the chance to work at home. In fact, the scams have one thing in common--they raise people’s hopes and then drive them deeper into a hole.”

At the heart of Operation Short Change, are new FTC cases against companies the agency says have conned consumers out of millions of dollars. In each case, the FTC alleged that the defendants’ practices were deceptive or unfair and/or made illegal electronic funds transfers or violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

More here.


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