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BUSINESS
June 13, 2011 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Immigration services — Immigrants seeking legal representation should beware of scammers who pose as government officers or lawyers, the Federal Trade Commission said in a news release. A federal court recently shut down a Baltimore firm that provided immigration services without a license, the FTC said. "Scammers often try to take advantage of immigrants by claiming to be affiliated with government immigration agencies, posing as immigration lawyers, or pretending to provide legitimate immigration-related services," FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez said.
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BUSINESS
April 26, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
More than 3,100 refund checks totaling $1.5 million have been sent to Latinos who were allegedly charged higher prices for home loans by a Bakersfield mortgage company, the Federal Trade Commission said. The checks were part of a settlement last year with Golden Empire Mortgage Inc. and its owner, Howard D. Kootstra, after the FTC accused them of illegally charging Latino customers more for mortgages than non-Latino borrowers. The practice violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which bars creditors from discriminating against loan applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin or other factors.
OPINION
April 2, 2011
When Google launched Google Buzz last year in a bid to challenge Facebook and Twitter, it drew an angry backlash from consumers and privacy advocates who complained that the company had disclosed potentially sensitive personal information about users without their knowledge. That misstep, which Google quickly corrected, has now turned into a step forward for consumer privacy. The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Google that establishes two important new principles about what companies must do before disclosing their customers' personal details.
BUSINESS
February 11, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
A privacy bill introduced in Congress on Friday raised the possibility that Internet users will be able to prevent advertisers from tracking what they do online. Similar to the 2003 Do Not Call Registry that prevents telemarketers from calling consumers who don't want to be contacted, the "Do Not Track" bill would allow the Federal Trade Commission to force online advertisers to respect the wishes of users who do not want to be tracked for marketing purposes. "Failure to do so would be considered an unfair or deceptive act punishable by law," said a statement from the office of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough)
BUSINESS
November 29, 2010 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
A weekly roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Online dating ? People who use online dating services should be careful that what seems like love may only be a ruse to get money, the Federal Trade Commission warned in a recent bulletin. Some people use dating sites to form bonds and then ask for money, the FTC said. Consumers should be cautious if someone they meet online immediately professes love or asks for money so they can travel to meet them, the FTC said.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2010 | By P.J. Huffstutter and Andrew Zajac, Los Angeles Times
The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against Los Angeles-based pomegranate juice maker Pom Wonderful and its billionaire owners, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, alleging that they violated federal law by making "false and unsubstantiated claims" about the health benefits of their products. Since its launch in 2002, the garnet-red juice in the curvy little bottle gave way to a marketing craze of flavored fruit teas, martinis and salad dressings — a culinary boom bolstered by Pom's products advertised as helping to treat conditions including heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
BUSINESS
August 10, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Two auto safety advocacy groups are asking the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit Enterprise Holdings Inc., the owner of the Enterprise, National and Alamo rental car companies, from renting out recalled vehicles that have not been fixed. The Center for Auto Safety and Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety petitioned the FTC to stop the practice. They were joined in the petition by Carol Houck, the mother of two young women killed in the 2004 crash of a PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
BUSINESS
August 3, 2010 | Bloomberg News
Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip maker, has agreed to settle its antitrust case with the Federal Trade Commission, the agency said Tuesday. The FTC issued a statement announcing that details of the settlement would be disclosed Wednesday at a news conference. The FTC had sued in December, accusing Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel of illegally using its dominance for a decade to block customers from buying competitors' products. The agency said Intel forced computer makers into exclusive deals and blocked rivals from making their chips work with Intel's.
BUSINESS
June 10, 2010 | Times Wire Services
U-Haul International Inc. has settled charges that it tried to fix truck rental prices with rival Avis Budget Group Inc., the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. U-Haul, which is owned by Amerco, had publicly and privately reached out to Budget several times from 2006 to 2008 to try to push up rates for one-way truck rentals, the FTC said. The FTC said U-Haul Chief Executive Edward Shoen learned in 2006 that Budget was pushing down some rental rates, prompting him to try to collude with rivals on prices.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Bruce Springsteen fans who bought seats for a hugely popular "Working on a Dream" concert last year were sold "phantom tickets" that Live Nation Entertainment Inc.'s Ticketmaster unit didn't have in hand, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The federal agency, which had accused the company of "deceptive bait-and-switch tactics," Thursday denounced the practice, which left hundreds of would-be concertgoers without tickets they thought they had legitimately purchased on Ticketmaster's TicketsNow resale site.
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