What Health Apps Tell Outsiders About You

Hundreds of health applications these days can track our weight, steps, caloric intake, blood pressure – and even our friends’ workouts at the gym. And those diagnosed with an ailment can go online to get answers to health questions or share their stories with others suffering from the same illness. Sure, this can be useful for consumers seeking to take control of their health. These new outlets, however, raise other questions: Who else is looking at our medical information? And …

Where to Report Scams (and Why It’s Important)

Silence is golden, at least for scammers. Say nothing and their bilking can continue until you and others are bled dry. Speak up and it can stop. Take, for example, another impressive yet little-publicized bust recently announced by the Federal Trade Commission. It ended a telemarketing scheme believed to have scammed more than $20 million from tens of thousands of older Americans. The agency alleges that for 31 months, a network of scammers in the U.S. and Canada cold-called retirement-age Americans …

FTC Raises Concerns About Efforts to Blunt Rx Competition

Biologic drugs are often used to treat health conditions that affect older populations – diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Derived from living organisms, biologics have an estimated average cost of $35,000 a year, which is far more than that of traditional, chemically derived drugs. Congress recently granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to approve less expensive generic versions of biologic drugs, known as biosimilars or follow-on biologics. But while the FDA continues to work …

Beware of Fake Funeral Notices

With the latest malware campaign aimed at hijacking sensitive computer files and online accounts, scammers have sunk to a new low – specifically, six feet under. Cybercrooks are emailing fake funeral notifications. Stealing the names and logos of legitimate funeral homes, they appear to be an e-invite to a funeral or remembrance service for an unnamed friend or acquaintance. The gotcha is a link, alleged to provide details about the “upcoming celebration of your friend’s life service.” Click it and “instead …

FTC Tackles Deceptive Ads by Car Dealers

If you don’t believe the ultra-low price or attractive finance terms in an advertisement for a new car, your instincts may be right. Some dealers run deceptive ads to lure consumers into their showrooms and then never deliver on their promises, according to a federal regulator. In a nationwide sweep targeting 10 auto dealers, nine of them agreed to settle charges filed by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency’s order prohibits the dealers from misrepresenting the terms of a sale, …

Do Not Fall for “Do Not Call” Scam

Perhaps the last nuisance phone call you might expect is from the very government agency that’s trying to halt them… especially if your phone number is among the 209 million already listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter It’s scammers -once again – who are posing as representatives of the Federal Trade Commission or the registry with an offer to enroll a phone number or “confirm” or “renew” an existing listing. …