Arizona Attorney General's Second Crackdown on the Same Telemarketer
Last week, the Arizona Attorney General filed a complaint against telemarketer Valley Delivery LLC and affiliated companies Next Day Delivery LLC and My Home Services LLC, and an individual defendant, Mathew Willes, for allegedly distributing fake missed package slips to homeowners to collect their personal information in a "delivery slip scheme." While the conduct here seems particularly egregious, the case serves as a good reminder that the State AGs remain focused on consumer protection issues especially involving personal data and telemarketing.
FTC, FDA, State AGs, and Class Action Lawsuit Clean Up Claims that Products Can Treat or Prevent Coronavirus
Growing concern over the coronavirus (COVID-19) has seeped into the regulatory and legal world. Agencies and plaintiffs’ attorneys are targeting companies that claim their products can treat or prevent COVID-19. As people search for health products to counter the growing threat of coronavirus, companies should keep in mind that any advertising claims made must be substantiated. Health claims trying to trade on the panic caused by the virus will be closely monitored and pursued by law enforcement and the plaintiffs’ bar.
PSA: Be Careful Telemarketing in New York During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Last weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in the State due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s scary enough. But there is an equally scary and somewhat odd consequence of New York’s declared state of emergency: the recently enacted New York Nuisance Call Act kicks in automatically. As a practical matter, what that means is that telemarketers may not “knowingly mak[e] unsolicited sales calls to any individual . . . during a declared state of emergency.” However, sellers may place telemarketing calls to consumers who have provided their consent to the callers or with whom the callers have an “established business relationship” (i.e., the calls are not “unsolicited”). According to Governor Cuomo’s declaration, the state of emergency will remain in effect in New York until September 7, 2020.
FTC Targets Advertising Claims Made for Pain-Relief Device
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with Neurometrix, the makers of the Quell electrical nerve stimulation device. In the complaint, the FTC alleged that the company made false claims about Quell’s ability to treat chronic and severe pain throughout the body, even though the device is only placed below the knee, and allegedly false claims that the device is clinically proven and cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat full body pain. The case provides a good reminder that the FTC remains focused on health claims and the standards that the FTC requires for marketing products making health claims.
Stirring the Pot: Tea Marketer Settles with FTC Over Unsubstantiated Health Claims, Inadequate Influencer Disclosures
Last week, the FTC entered into a settlement with Teami, LLC, a marketer of teas and tea-based skincare products that the FTC alleges promoted its products with deceptive, unsubstantiated health claims and endorsements by social media influencers who did not adequately disclose their material connections to (i.e., monetary payments from) the company. The action highlights the FTC’s continued focus on both health claims and influencer marketing.
FTC Staff Perspectives on Small Business Financing Enforcement Dangers
The staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection released a much-anticipated paper on small business financing that highlights enforcement dangers on February 26, 2020. The staff are sounding the alarm on FTC enforcement and its investigations of small business financing providers and their marketers, servicers, and collectors.
Debt Relief Services Back in the Spotlight
Household and credit card debt is at an all-time high. So it should come as no surprise that debt-relief legal and regulatory issues are back in the spotlight. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will host “Evolutions in Consumer Debt Relief” on March 10, 2020. The CFPB says the event will explore options for consumers facing unmanageable unsecured debt and limited credit options.
Venable's COVID-19 Resources
Explore our collection of timely and relevant alerts, webinars, and news as global preparations for the impact of COVID-19 continue.