by Jabari Cook
Intern, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

If you or a loved one has COVID-19, you might feel hopeful about products that guarantee you the treatment or cure you’re looking for. But if those products don’t work as advertised, then you could end up paying lots of money for false promises. Today, the FTC announced a new case against two companies, — Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical, Inc., Golden Sunrise Pharmaceutical, Inc. — and members of their leadership — Huu Tieu and Stephen Meis — for allegedly making promises like these.

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by Amy Hebert
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Are you worried that you won’t be able to make your next car payment because you’ve lost your job or income because of the Coronavirus? Or are you already behind on your payments? You’re not alone. Here’s what you can do:

Contact your lender now. Some banks, credit unions, and auto financing companies are letting people delay payments or renegotiate their payment schedules. If your lender agrees to any changes, make sure you have them in writing for later.

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by Lois Greisman
Associate Director, Division of Marketing Practices, FTC

Have you noticed lately that you’re getting fewer robocalls? Yes, way too many calls are still coming, and we’re fully engaged on that issue. But we’re seeing some promising developments. Some recent FTC actions might just have something to do with that. Let’s review. In December 2019, the FTC filed suit against VoIP service provider Globex Telecom for helping scammers run a “reduce your credit card interest rate” con. In January, the FTC sent letters to 19 VoIP providers, warning them that consumer protection laws apply to them, too, and pointing out what could happen if they kept helping scammy telemarketers break the law. Then, just last week, the agency sent nine warning letters to VoIP providers that were helping Coronavirus scammers blast out robocalls during the current health crisis. The VoIP providers that straightened up accounted for billions of calls that we’re all now not getting.

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The Federal Trade Commission is mailing checks totaling more than $3.1 million to consumers who were victims of a student loan debt relief and credit repair scheme.

The FTC is mailing 20,988 checks—averaging $148 each—to victims of the scheme. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. If recipients have questions about the refunds, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, JND Legal Administration, at 1-888-304-0184.

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WASHINGTON – As part of its continuing effort to be a good neighbor, provide transparency to landowners and reduce regulatory burdens, the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has issued internal guidance encouraging Service personnel and landowners to work together to ensure wetland easements are protected from drainage without needlessly restricting landowner activities on the remainder of their properties. In addition, the Service is providing landowners opportunities for an administrative appeals process to resolve questions about compliance and help avoid unnecessary legal actions.

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by Bridget Small
Consumer Education Specialist

The FTC is sending refund checks to more than 541,000 people who paid for repairs and technical services when they took their computers to Office Depot or Office Max stores for a free “PC Health Check.” The FTC says that, between 2009 and November 2016, Office Depot and a software provider did scans and told people their computers had malware symptoms — only it wasn’t true. Many customers who got false scan results were then tricked into buying computer diagnostic and repair services.

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