FederalTradeCommission

Don't Get Conned: Free Fraud Hotline Aids, Educates

This is International Fraud Awareness Week, when various companies and nonprofit organizations work to educate people about how to avoid becoming victims of financial fraud. And we need the help: Last year, American consumers lost more than $1.7 billion to financial scams.

Surprise! 'Acne Cure' Phone Apps Don't Work

"When it comes to curing acne, there's no app for that," said Federal Trade Commission Chairman, Jon Leibowitz, in response to a settlement reached on Wednesday between the FTC and three men charged with misleading claims that their smartphone apps could get rid of pimples.

Abusive Collection Agency Ordered to Halt Operations

As part of its effort to crack down on scams that target Americans in financial distress, the FTC has sued more than 30 debt collection companies. On Wednesday, another one, Rincon Debt Management made the list and was shut down. Do you know your rights against abusive debt collectors?

Exclusive: Alleged Beauty Queen Fraudster Speaks Out

It can be tough to reconcile the two images of Juliette Kimoto: Mrs. Nevada 2006 and stay-at-home mom; and Internet scammer whom the FTC says ran a $30 million con. In our exclusive interview, she tells her side of the story, both pointing the finger at her ex-husband and defending what he did as just "marketing."

Former Beauty Queen Accused of Scamming Thousands

When Juliette Kimoto took to the stage to accept her crown as Mrs. Nevada in 2006, she seemed an obvious fit for the coveted pageant title. What she declined to mention, however, was that she was also engaged in an online operation that would eventually rob tens of thousands of people of $30 million.

Weak Economy Is a Boom Time for Financial Scammers

Millions of Americans fall victim to financial scams every year, and since the downturn began, many of those cons have been tailored to lure those suffering the most in our shaky economy: work-at-home schemes, fake mortgage modification services, fraudulent job opportunities and a host of unpleasant others.

Reebok to Refund $25M to Buyers of 'Toning Shoes'

Reebok's promise that its EasyTone and RunTone shoes could shape your legs and tone your butt sounded too good to be true. That's because they were, said the FTC Wednesday, when it ordered the footwear maker to give $25 million in partial refunds to customers who bought the products based on the inflated claims.

Bank Settlements Bring Homeowners a Bit of Relief

This week brought a bit of good news for some troubled homeowners in the form of two separate settlement activities. The FTC has begun mailing refund checks to 450,000 Countrywide customers, and Wells Fargo reached an $85 million settlement with the Fed that will provide relief to up to 10,000 customers.

The Financial Landscape: Big Pharma Wins; So Does Greece

It's a good day to be a drugmaker after two pro-business Supreme Court rulings favored the industry. And it's an even better day for those who are counting on the EU bailing out Greece. But the folks at Google may want to search for "defense lawyers" -- they may be seeing subpoenas shortly.

Your Credit Card Is Watching, and May Not Like Where You Shop

Your credit card issuer already knows whether you have a pet, watch porn or garden in your spare time. But what they are most interested in are changes in your spending patterns. Start shopping at the dollar store instead of Williams-Sonoma and they may just take that as a sign of financial hardship -- a fear that could cause them to cap the credit limit on the account or close it altogether.

New Rules Will Curb Not-So-Free Credit Reports

A new Federal Trade Commission rule goes into affect on Friday that will protect consumers who sought to take advantage of offers for "free credit reports," but were often misled into signing up for credit monitoring services or other products.