Last Friday, I published a post about FTC crackdowns on negative option marketing in the diet fad industry. I wondered what the hey was taking them so long to slap the Google scam guys around.
Well! Even as I was writing, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) was busy putting the hurt on names that are practically household words here at I’ve Tried That: Free Government Grants, Google Treasure Chest, Google Money Tree, and Angela Penbrook. Plus many others.
The FTC recently announced a HUGE crackdown on all sorts of Internet scams. It involves 15 FTC cases, 44 law enforcement actions by the Department of Justice, and actions by at least 13 states and the District of Columbia.
I’m counting 15 major actions against some of the biggest scam names we’ve come to love and hate such as Penbrook Productions, Cash Grant Institute, Google Money Tree, and more. Read about the FTC awesomeness here.
The lawsuits against our friends of the Google scams and “rebate processing” allege violations of a number of federal laws based on exactly the kinds of actions we’ve been harping about for almost a year now. Hidden charges, false claims of income, misleading advertising and on and on.
The lawsuits seek relief in the form of injunctions (i.e., they want the judge to shut down the Web sites in question) and unspecified monetary awards (they want the companies to have to pay back what they’ve stolen).
All of you who filed FTC complaints and thought they weren’t doing any good? Looks like you got somebody’s attention!
I’m hopeful, but it remains to be seen what long-term impact these actions will have. There are thousands of scammy Web sites and these legal actions involve just a handful. True, they’re the worst offenders, but there are just. So. Many.
Still, three cheers for the FTC and the hard-working attorneys who brought the cases this far. We’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, watch this cool video about fraud and how/why it works: