According to the US Census Bureau, women make up slightly more than half of the US populaion. This means about half the people affected by the big cases brought by the FTC – say againsts AT&T for throttling “unlimited” data, ASUSTek for security vulnerabilities in their routers, or Lumosity for overstating the science behind their brain training games – are indeed women.
Offers (and scams) are usually expected to target certain individualss. Maybe it is aimed at older adults, Spanish-speakers, the unemployed or women. As it is Women’s History month, here’s a look at the work the FTC have done to shut down scammers who targeted women during the past few years:
High-end items: Oro Marketing was a telemarketing company that targeted Spanish-speaking women with the “opportunity” to sell brand-name items for a profit. The good delivered (COD) were unusable, and when people tried to refuse shipments or returned the goods, the company harassed and threatened them. The good news is that the company and its owner is forever banned from doing business in the telemarketing industry.
- Revenge porn: Yes that is correct. Craig Brittain solicited sexually explicit pictureddd – mostly of women, posted them on his website, and sometimes included the person’s contact details such as the person’s name, address, email, and phone number. He then offered a service where someone could pay hundreds of dollars to have their images removed. The FTC shut the website down and forced him to destroy all the images.
- Magic underwear: The companies ran ads that claimed their caffeine-infused shapewear would take inches off hips and thighs, and reduce the appearance of cellulite. According to the FTC, sometimes they didn’t even have the science to back those claims. The companies had to make partial refunds and promise not to make unsubstantiated claims again.
- “Revolutionary formula” Ads by Lunada Biomedical told women over 40 that Amberen would relieve symptoms of menopause and perimenopause – including weight gain and hot flashes. According to the FTC, they did not have the scientific evidence to support their claims. The case is ongoing.