Online payday lenders to pay $21M settlement to settle FTC charges

Two payday lenders recently settled Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they broke the law by charging undisclosed and inflated fees. AMG Services, Inc. and MNE Services, Inc. will pay $21 million and will waive another $285 million in charges that were assessed but not collected. MNE Services lent to consumers under the trade names Ameriloan, United…

FTC cracks down on Dallas-area car dealership over advertising

Consumers have gotten used to fine print disclaimers that limit the offer in an advertisement. Unfortunately, some businesses take them WAY too far. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently put a stop to such advertising practices by a Dallas, Texas-area car dealership. According to the FTC, Trophy Nissan engaged in deceptive advertising promote the sale and lease of its…

FTC shuts down telemarketers who falsely claimed to be Medicare representatives

Of all the scams out there, the ones that probably make my blood boil the most are those that target seniors. At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court recently shut down an operation by telemarketers that falsely claimed to be part of Medicare. The defendants allegedly tricked seniors into giving up banking and other information…

Former Corpus Christi investment advisor gets 20 years for securities fraud

Investors in William Charlton Mays IV’s operation may have thought they were buying gold and silver, but it turned out they were only investing in a pyramid. The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) recently announced that Mays, a former investment adviser in Corpus Christi, Texas has received a 20-year prison sentence after being convicted on securities fraud and…

FTC: debt collectors shut down for unlawful practices

Creditors may have a right to pursue their debt, but they have to do it legally. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week announced a judgment against a debt collection operation it says used abusive tactics and threatened consumers into paying debts they may not have owed. Pinnacle Payment Services, LLC and its principals have been…

Texas AG shuts down Houston-area diploma mill

Getting an education is pretty important for career advancement. Unfortunately, some “institutions” that appear to be affordable alternatives actually just take your money in exchange for diplomas that aren’t worth the paper they were printed on. The Texas Attorney General’s Office has permanently shut down Houston-based Lincoln Academy, which it says falsely claimed to be an accredited educational…

Tech support scammers hit with $51 million judgment

Ever get a call from out of the blue, offering to fix your computer remotely? Hang up! No matter who they say they work for (I had a call a few years ago from someone claiming to be a “Windows” employee) it’s a scam. If you let these scammers have remote access to your computer, they could…

FTC alleges T-Mobile let customers get crammed

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission charged cell phone provider T-Mobile with making big bucks from premium text services that in many cases its consumers never authorized–a practice known as cramming. The FTC alleges in its complaint that T-Mobile USA received 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged for subscriptions for content that typically…