federal trade commission

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.

Latest Mortage Mod Scam Is an Audit to Nowhere

A raft of con artists have cropped up over the last two years offering "forensic loan audits." They promise to review your mortgage documents, looking for errors and legal flaws that they say they'll use to expedite a loan modification deal. All they usually end up doing is taking more money from already stressed homeowners.

Waiting to Inherit: Not a Sound 'Financial Plan'

An estimated two-thirds of baby boomer households will receive an inheritance at some point, with a median amount of $64,000, according to an AARP study. I recently received an email from a reader who has fallen deeply into debt in anticipation of her legacy -- and is now worried that her bailout may not be at hand:

Don't Get Ripped Off on Post-Irene Home Repairs

The estimated tab for Hurricane Irene's fury is already in the billions of dollars. If you're among those who have property damage, proceed with caution -- you don't want to get hit again, this time by home repair companies that jack up their prices, do a poor job, or walk away before the work is finished.

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.

Microsoft Adds New Privacy Features to Internet Explorer

Microsoft (MSFT) is adding extra privacy controls to Internet Explorer to limit the amount of information that users disclose while surfing the Web. The new Microsoft feature will allow users to create a list of sites that they want to block from tracking them, The Associated Press said.

Google Data-Collection Probe Dropped by Regulators

A Federal Trade Commission probe into Google's practices related to data collection from its Street View cars has been dropped after the world's largest search-engine operator made changes to safeguard consumer privacy.

FTC Proposes Tighter Standards for 'Green' Products

Companies that claim to be environmentally friendly or say their products have certain so-called "green" benefits may face more stringent requirements as far as showing proof of such claims, the Federal Trade Commission said today.

Google's Street View Banned in Czech Republic

Google's controversial Street View service, which has raised privacy concerns in countries around the world, got the heave-ho from the Czech Republic Tuesday after failing to file for the proper registration to operate in that country.

Losses Mount at Debt Settlement Firms

It's the biggest consumer harm issue you've never heard of: Next month, new regulations will put an end to a nasty form of debt settlement scam, but consumers are already beginning to report the loss of thousands of dollars from supposed escrow accounts that had been set up to pay their bills.

Top 10 Job Scams That Target the Unemployed

Looking for some extra income fast? With unemployment at 9.6%, rarely has there been a riper time for con artists to come out of the woodwork with promises of "easy ways to make money", "quick money", and "how to earn money fast." Here are the Top 10 job scams you should know about.