Definition of Terrorism:

[ˈterəˌrizəm] NOUN
the unlawful use of violence & intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
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FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Continue with Discussion of the FTC’s Role in a Changing World

What:The Federal Trade Commission will host the 11th session of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.When:Monday, March 25, 9:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., and Tuesday, March 26, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.Where:FTC Headquarters600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580Room 432The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. You are not guaranteed a seat, and seating is on a first-come-first-served basis.Who:The hearing will feature introductory remarks by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons on March 25 and further remarks by FTC Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson on March 26. There is a distinguished set of panelists, including competition, consumer protection, and privacy officials from around the world.Webcast:The hearing will be webcast. The webcast link will be on the event page on the day of the workshop.Twitter:The hearing will be tweeted live from the FTC’s Twitter page (@FTC) using…

Those (not really) IRS calls

You’ve probably gotten one of these calls: They say it’s the IRS and they’re filing a lawsuit against you for back taxes. They may threaten to arrest or deport you. What do you do? Watch this video to learn more:

The FTC worked with AARP to create a series of videos about imposter scams – including IRS imposters, Medicare scams, and robocalls. While the videos are aimed at older Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the tips apply to everyone. Last week, we highlighted Medicare scams; this week, it’s IRS imposters. Next week, stay tuned for robocalls.
In the video, you’ll hear how these calls may sound – and then learn to spot and avoid these scammers. So, if you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:
Hang up. Don’t give personal or financial information to someone claiming to be from the IRS. If in doubt, call the IRS directly…

FTC Will Reschedule Roundtable with State Attorneys General

The Federal Trade Commission is rescheduling a Roundtable with the State Attorneys General, which originally had been planned for March 25 as part of the agency’s Hearings Initiative, due to logistical issues. A new date and further details for the session will be announced as soon as they become available.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. …

FTC and CFPB Report on 2018 Activities to Combat Illegal Debt Collection Practices

Agencies provide annual summary of work to combat illegal debt collection practices
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB) reported on their 2018 activities to combat illegal debt collection practices. The annual report to Congress on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) highlights both agencies’ efforts to stop unlawful debt collection practices, including robust law enforcement, education and public outreach, and policy initiatives.In the report, the FTC states that it filed or resolved a total of seven cases against 52 defendants, and obtained more than $58.9 million in judgments. The FTC also banned 32 companies and individuals that engaged in serious and repeated law violations from ever working in debt collection again. The FTC continued its aggressive efforts to curb egregious debt collection practices, including initiating or resolving four actions involving phantom debt collections. The FTC returned $853,715 to consumers…

FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Continue with Discussion of Competition and Consumer Protection in Broadband Markets

What:The Federal Trade Commission will host the 10th session of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century, which will examine competition and consumer protection in broadband markets.When:Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.Where:Constitution Center Auditorium400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024(Note: This venue is accessible from the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station)Who:The hearing will begin with introductory remarks by Federal Trade Commission General Counsel Alden Abbott, followed by a distinguished set of panelists.Webcast:Watch live webcast now in progress.Twitter:The hearing will be tweeted live from the FTC’s Twitter page (@FTC) using #FTCHearings. …

Protect yourself against Medicare scams

Still getting calls from people claiming to be from Medicare, asking for money or personal information? Watch this video about how you can protect yourself from Medicare scams: 

The FTC worked with AARP to create a series of videos about imposter scams – including Medicare scams, IRS imposters and robocalls. While the videos are aimed at older Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the tips apply to everyone. For the next three Fridays, we’ll highlight these videos.
This week, you’ll learn about these calls that pretend to be from Medicare. The video will help you recognize the scammers who ask for your Medicare number so you can get a back or neck brace. Or who say they need your information or money so you can get a new Medicare card. And you’ll hear from an FTC expert about how to avoid these scams:
Hang up. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking…

FTC Releases 2018 Privacy and Data Security Update

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s primary privacy and data security enforcer, released its annual report highlighting its privacy and data security work for 2018.The FTC’s privacy and security enforcement actions in 2018 included shutting down revenge porn website MyEx.com, approving a settlement with peer-to-peer payment service Venmo over deceptive privacy settings, approving an expanded settlement with Uber Technologies, Inc. to resolve data security and privacy allegations, and approving a privacy and data security settlement with mobile phone maker BLU Products, Inc. The FTC also obtained a $3 million civil penalty against RealPage, Inc., for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening information.As part of its strong commitment to protecting children’s privacy, the FTC announced separate settlements with electronic toy maker VTech Electronics Limited and online talent site Explore Talent over allegations that they violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The…

FTC to Hold July 2019 Workshop on Product Repair Restrictions, Seeks Research in Advance

Staff of the Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop on July 16, 2019 to examine ways in which manufacturers may limit third-party repairs and is seeking research focused on such limitations.Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions will focus on how manufacturers may limit repairs by consumers and repair shops and whether those limitations affect consumer protection, including consumers’ rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The statute, which the FTC enforces, is aimed at helping consumers make informed purchasing decisions and having access to remedies if a product does not perform as specified. The Act, among other things, prohibits manufacturers from conditioning warranty coverage on the use of particular products or services.The workshop will discuss some of the issues that arise when a manufacturer restricts or makes it impossible for a consumer or an independent repair shop to make product repairs and whether such restrictions undercut the Warranty…

New protections available for minors under 16

Young people now have more protection from identity theft and fraud, thanks to a new federal law that went into effect September 21st, 2018. The new law lets parents and child welfare representatives of people under 16, as well as legal guardians, request a security freeze, also called a credit freeze, on their behalf. Taking this step can help protect a young person from identity theft and fraud – and it’s free.
Identity theft happens when someone misuses your personal information, such as a Social Security number, to open accounts, file taxes, or make purchases. Hackers, thieves, and even people you know might steal your identity. Minors typically don’t have credit reports, which means that a young person may not find out about issues with their credit reports until they first try to get credit – perhaps even years later.
While a security freeze won’t affect anything already on your credit report,…

FTC to Mail Refund Checks to Victims of Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

The FTC will be mailing refund checks totaling more than $644,000 to people who lost money to a get-rich-quick scheme that falsely claimed they could earn significant money working online by using products marketed as “secret codes.”The refunds stem from a settlement with the operators of the Mobile Money Code scheme, which also used the names eMobile Code, Auto Mobile Code, Easy Cash Code, Full Money System, and Secret Money System. The defendants claimed that people could make substantial income using their “secret codes” online. In reality, these products were generic software applications for building mobile-friendly websites.As part of the settlement, the FTC will be sending 12,072 checks averaging about $53 to victims of the scheme. The checks will expire after 60 days. These are legitimate checks, and the FTC urges people to cash them before they expire. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide account information…

My IP Block list

I created a bad IP list from all of my sites. It ‘s for use in the (htaccess) file.USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. I Block complete blocks that are NOT IN the USA because they are usually trying to attack my site from more than one IP in that block. I usually wont block USA […]

Four Defendants Agree to Settle FTC Allegations They Deceived Consumers with Business Coaching Scheme

Four defendants in a multi-million dollar business coaching scheme known as Digital Altitude, including the scheme’s former CEO, will pay $1.9 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that they deceived consumers by claiming they could earn “six figures in 90 days.”In its complaint, the FTC alleged that the defendants behind Digital Altitude took in millions of dollars by persuading consumers to pay for a series of tiered memberships with increasing fees and falsely claimed that consumers would learn how to make substantial income with an online business. The defendants promised consumers they would receive individualized coaching from successful marketers that would provide what they needed to build a successful business. In reality, these marketers were merely salespeople selling higher membership levels in the defendants’ program, according to the FTC’s complaint.The settlement orders with former Digital Altitude CEO Michael Force, former Digital Altitude Chief Operating Officer Mary Dee, former Digital…

Keep tech support strangers out of your computer

If you need tech help with your computer, where do you go? Most of us probably search online. But your online search can lead you straight to scammers who scare you into thinking your computer is in dire need of repair…and then sell you costly security software that you don’t need.
That’s just what happened in the FTC’s lawsuit against Elite IT Partners, Inc., announced today as part of a massive law enforcement sweep. According to the complaint, Elite bought key words on Google that let them target people searching for how to recover lost passwords. You’d fill out an online form and give your contact information. Then, says the FTC, Elite’s telemarketers would call and ask to get online access to your computer – supposedly to check for problems. Once they were in, the caller would show you fake “evidence” of viruses or other threats that, they said, had to…

FTC Halts Tech Support Scam as Part of Major Initiative Focused on Older Adults Hit Hardest by These Scams

As part of a state, federal, and international crackdown on tech support scams, the Federal Trade Commission has temporarily shut down a Utah-based scheme that tricked consumers into believing their computers were infected with viruses in order to sell them costly computer repair services.Chairman Joe Simons reaffirmed FTC’s commitment to keeping older adults safe during a speech at the Department of Justice Tech Support Takedown 2019 Elder Fraud Event.At the request of the FTC, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against Elite IT Partners, Inc. and its founder, President and CEO James Martinos. In a complaint, the FTC alleges that Martinos and his company used deceptive tactics to gain access to consumers’ computers and then sell costly and unnecessary computer repair and other services. The vast majority of the scheme’s victims were older consumers, according to the complaint.The FTC’s action is part of an initiative announced today with…

FTC Testifies on Private Sector Data Security Before Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee

Testifying before a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee, the Federal Trade Commission described its work to promote reasonable data security and reiterated its longstanding bipartisan call for enactment of a comprehensive federal data security law.In testimony before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the FTC described its efforts over nearly two decades to address data security through law enforcement, policy initiatives, and consumer and business education.The testimony, delivered by Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith, noted that the Commission has settled or litigated more than 60 law enforcement actions against businesses that allegedly failed to take reasonable precautions to protect consumers’ data. Among those have been cases against manufacturers of consumer products like smartphones, computers, routers, and connected toys, as well as against companies that collect consumers’ sensitive personal information.Although it does not enforce a comprehensive data security law, the Commission brings cases under provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley…

Operators of Sweepstakes Scam Will Forfeit $30 Million to Settle FTC Charges

Case against defendants who appeared to target seniors marks the largest forfeiture ever obtained by FTC against a sweepstakes scam
The operators of a sweepstakes scam that appeared to target seniors have agreed to forfeit a record $30 million in cash and assets and will be permanently banned from the prize promotion business under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.The settlement with the FTC and the State of Missouri requires the defendants to turn over more than $21 million in cash, as well as two luxury vacation homes, a yacht, a Bentley automobile, and other personal property. The case represents the largest forfeiture the FTC has ever obtained in a case against a sweepstakes scam, and the proceeds will be used to refund money to victims.“These defendants tricked millions of people—many of them older adults—into paying money to collect prizes that never materialized,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s…

FTC Announces Agenda for the 11th Session of Its Hearings On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

The Federal Trade Commission today announced the agenda for the 11th session of its Hearings Initiative, which will focus on the agency’s international work. The hearing, co-sponsored with the George Washington University Competition Law Center, will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 25-26, 2019 at the FTC’s headquarters building in room 432.FTC Chairman Joe Simons will deliver opening remarks, followed by a presentation by current George Washington University Law Professor and former FTC Chairman William E. Kovacic, which will highlight international developments in competition, consumer protection, and privacy laws, enforcement, and policies, and explore their impact on the FTC’s mission and work. The first day will also feature panels on enforcement cooperation, along with discussion of international engagement and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.The hearing’s second day will begin with opening remarks by Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips and a presentation by Roger Alford, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of…

FTC’s Tech Support Takedown 2019

We read you loud and clear! Last year, the FTC got nearly 143,000 reports about tech support scams. We’ve been warning people about this type of scam for years. But one piece of information in the FTC’s newest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight was an eye-opener. People 60 and over were about five times more likely than younger people to tell us they lost money on this scam, even though they were less likely than younger people to say they lost money to many other types of scams.
The FTC has brought many cases against tech support scammers, including our case just announced against Elite IT. With our law enforcement partners at the Department of Justice, other federal and state offices, and international colleagues, we’re fighting to protect older adults. And this is all part of the largest-ever nationwide elder fraud sweep focusing on tech support fraud.
But that’s not all. Visit…

Getting calls from the SSA?

Probably not. At least, not from the real SSA. But how many of you have gotten calls from someone who said they were the Social Security Administration? And maybe showed the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) or a number close to it on your caller ID? Lots, right?
We’ve seen a spike in the number of people reporting those fake SSA calls to us. Since January 2018, we’ve gotten more than 63,000 reports of this scam. Three percent of those people reported a loss – and they lost $16.6 million (with a median loss of $1,484).
You can hear what the scam sounds like here. The caller usually says your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he says your bank account is about to be seized…

Phishing: Don’t take the bait

Phishing is when someone uses fake emails or texts – even phone calls – to get you to share valuable personal information, like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords. Scammers use this information to steal your money, your identity, or both. They may also try to get access to your computer or network. If you click on a link in one of these emails or texts, they can install ransomware or other programs that lock you out of your data and let them steal your personal information.
Scammers often use familiar company names or pretend to be someone you know. They pressure you to act now – or something bad will happen.
The FTC’s new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, offers tips to help you recognize the bait, avoid the hook, and report phishing scams.
Please share this information with your school or family, friends…