by Alvaro Puig
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

We recently wrote about steps that the FTC took to stop MOBE, an internet business-coaching scheme that was promoting a bogus online business opportunity to retirees and veterans. We’ve gotten a lot of questions from MOBE customers on our consumer blog and business blog. Here’s what you need to know if you were a MOBE customer.

Status of the FTC Lawsuit against MOBE

The FTC filed its lawsuit against MOBE in June 2018 and the case is ongoing. At the FTC’s request, the Court has temporarily suspended MOBE’s business operations.

The FTC’s primary goals in these types of cases are to stop companies from breaking the law, and to recover money that the company should not be allowed to keep. The Court will decide what we can do in MOBE.

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by Jeff Mulhollem

Trailcams have revolutionized the study of carnivores such as this jaguar. With the very low density of carnivores on the landscape and wide territories, monitoring their movement and behavior previously had been difficult and expensive. Researchers around the world often use the same models of cameras used by hunters and sportsmen.
Image: Belize Jaguar Project/Virginia Tec

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Anywhere large-bodied mammalian carnivore species are present, other, smaller carnivores are less likely to occur, according to an international team of researchers that conducted the first global assessment of carnivore interactions using camera trap data.

This finding is important because populations of large mammalian carnivores are declining as habitat is lost, and often where large carnivores disappear, a chain reaction is set off that affects smaller carnivores, prey species, and even plant and insect communities.

"Large carnivores are imperiled," said David Miller, associate professor of wildlife population ecology, Penn State, whose research group in the College of Agricultural Sciences led the study. "We were able to see that this finding, with large-bodied-carnivore species, held around the globe."

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HERSHEY, Pa. — Anyone who has developed a kidney stone will tell you that the pain of passing one is worth an ounce of prevention.

About 10 percent of the population will form a stone-like calcium deposit in the urinary tract at some point in their lives, and contrary to popular belief, these stones are not caused by an excess of calcium in the diet but by other dietary factors such as dehydration and excess sodium.

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by Colleen Tressler
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Shopping for a car can be exciting. But wading through ads and promotions from car dealers, and deciding how to pay, can make it stressful.

If you decide to finance the car, you have two options: get a loan from a bank, credit union, or finance company, or get dealership financing. Either way, the financing application requires an honest listing of your monthly income and the amount of your down payment.

But not all dealers play by the rules.   more...
by Carol Kando-Pineda
Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education

You get a text, call, or email from someone who says they’re with the government. They may claim to be a U.S. Marshal, saying you must pay a fine for missing jury duty. Or the IRS, saying that you owe thousands in back taxes. Some might threaten legal action, deportation, or arrest if you don’t pay up or give them your financial information.

In other cases, it sounds less scary and more like your lucky day. The call, text, or email will say you’ve won a prize, the lottery, or a grant — but you need to pay some fees or taxes to get your winnings.

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by Carol Kando-Pineda
Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education

You’re working on your computer when, suddenly, a message pops up on the screen: “Virus detected! Call now for a free security scan and to repair your device.” That’s a tech support scam. Don’t call, text, or email. Legit tech support companies don’t operate that way.

Scammers pose as big-name companies and use pop-up messages, fake websites, and phone calls to trick you into thinking your computer has an urgent problem. Their plan is to get your money by selling you worthless software, enrolling you in fake programs, or getting you to pay for useless tech support. The scammers urge you to call a toll-free number immediately, threatening that you may lose personal data if you don’t.

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