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ICFE eNEWS #17-03 - January 19th 2017

Penn Corner  - FTC update

Penn News for January 2017

News from the Federal Trade Commission

DeVry to Pay $100 Million to Settle FTC Charges
DeVry University agreed to settle charges that it exaggerated the job prospects of its graduates. The FTC says DeVry misled prospective students by claiming 90 percent of its graduates landed jobs within six months of graduation, and that 15 percent had higher incomes, compared to graduates of other schools. Nearly half of the $100 million settlement will go to qualifying students misled by the ads. The remainder will go to forgiving or cancelling debts that students would have incurred, and to students to pay off debt already incurred to attend DeVry between 2008 and 2015.

"When people are making important decisions about their education and their future, they should not be misled by deceptive employment and earnings claims. The FTC has secured compensation for the many students who were harmed, and I am pleased that DeVry is changing its practices."
- FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on DeVry University case

FTC Charges Turn for Deceptively Tracking Consumers
To settle FTC charges, Turn, a digital advertising company, has agreed to stop misrepresenting its online tracking capabilities and provide an effective way for people to opt out of tracking. The FTC says Turn kept tracking people's online and mobile activities even after people opted out of tracking. The FTC also said Turn's opt-out mechanism only applied to mobile browsers, and did not block tailored ads on mobile applications, as the company had claimed.

FTC Says CarMax and Others Failed to Disclose Safety Recalls
Three auto retailers, including CarMax, agreed to settle FTC charges that they failed to sufficiently disclose that some of their cars were actually subject to unaddressed safety recalls - even after the companies touted how thoroughly they inspect their vehicles. The FTC's proposed consent orders will prohibit these retailers from making unqualified inspection or safety-related claims about their used vehicles subject to safety recalls.

Pharma Company Will Divest Products per FTC Order
The FTC required divestitures to maintain competition for a variety of vaccines for dogs and cats, as well as parasite control products for cattle and sheep. Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to divest five types of animal health products in the United States in order to settle FTC charges that its proposed asset swap with Sanofi could lead to higher prices for these products. The proposed consent order preserves competition by requiring Boehringer Ingelconsuheim to divest the companion animal vaccines to Eli Lilly and the company's Elanco Animal Health division, and the parasite control products to Bayer AG.

FTC Hosts "Internet of Things" Contest
How can you know whether your internet-connected devices are updated to protect your privacy and security? The FTC is hosting a prize competition, The Internet of Things (IoT) Home Inspector Challenge, to see who has the answer. The winning tool would help protect people from security vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software - and there's a $25,000 prize for the winning team or person. The challenge opens for submission on March 1, 2017.

Dating Site Exposed Millions of Users' Data, FTC Says
Operators of Toronto-based AshleyMadison.com have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission and state charges that they deceived users and did not protect 36 million users' account and profile information in relation to a massive July 2015 data breach of their network. In addition to other provisions, a federal court imposed an $8.75 million judgment against the company.

FTC Says California Naturel Made False "All Natural" Claims
The FTC has granted a summary decision against California Naturel, Inc. for falsely advertising its sunscreen product as "all natural." Per the company's admission, eight percent of its sunscreen formula is a synthetic ingredient. The final order says the company may not make those claims going forward.

Blood-Pressure App Marketers Allegedly Made False Claims
The FTC alleges Aura falsely claimed its Instant Blood Pressure paid app could replace traditional blood pressure cuffs and that its readings are just as accurate. Aura's app reported blood pressure based on data calculated by Aura using age, gender, height, and weight. The FTC says the blood pressure readings from the app were inaccurate compared to those of a traditional blood pressure cuff.

Alleged Tech Support Schemers to Pay Back $10 Million
Operators of a Florida-based tech support scheme will pay $10 million in consumer redress to settle charges they used aggressive tactics to sell tech support products and services. The FTC says they falsely claimed to find viruses and malware on peoples' computers.

FTC Requests Comment on Proposal to Amend Contact Lens Rule
The FTC is seeking comments on an amendment of the Contact Lens Rule that would require prescribers to obtain a "signed patient acknowledgment form" after releasing a contact lens prescription to a patient. The proposed change is designed to make sure that prescribers are providing copies of prescriptions to patients once the contact lens fitting is complete. The FTC requests comments on this proposed change by January 30, 2017.

Your Money Back

Update on Herbalife Refunds
Roughly 350,000 checks totaling $200 million have been sent to people who lost money trying to run an Herbalife business. The company allegedly deceived consumers into believing they could earn substantial money selling weight loss, nutritional supplement, and personal care products.

The Tax Club Refunds
Over 20,000 checks totaling more than $18 million are going out to people who lost money to The Tax Club and applied for a refund from the FTC. The company allegedly deceived people by saying their services would help home-based businesses succeed, and by promising services that people never received.

One Technologies Refunds
The FTC sent refund checks ranging from $90 to $150 to people who lost money on websites including FreeScore360.com, FreeScoreOnline.com and ScoreSense.com. According to the FTC, people went to the sites to access their credit scores but were enrolled in credit monitoring programs and charged monthly fees without their consent.

If you get a refund check from the FTC, deposit or cash it within 60 days of the mailing date. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or to provide account information before refund checks can be cashed. Want information about the FTC's refund program? Visit ftc.gov/refunds

Data Broker Operation Allegedly Scammed More Than $7 Million
FTC Action Halts Timeshare Resale Scheme
FTC Grants Partial Exemption to Fuel Rating Rule Labeling Requirements
Vemma Agrees to Ban on Pyramid Scheme Practices to Settle FTC Charges
More >

Wonder why some online ads seem to target your interests? Learn more about #onlinetracking. http://go.usa.gov/x9WSA
Get schooled on how to choose a college or university. #forprofitschool #choosingacollege http://go.usa.gov/x9Whz
Take steps to save time and money by reading up before shopping for a used car. #buyingausedcar http://go.usa.gov/x9Z39

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Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and founder of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, CO.) The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending practices, increase savings and use credit more wisely.

The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its financial continuing education courses programs and resources. In addition to eight Certification courses covering identity theft, credit files, credit repair and credit scoring, among others, it also publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE is a partner with the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves and Military Saves, both offshoots of America Saves.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

The ICFE helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G library, a free eNews service, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools in the ICFE Book Store.

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