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Consumer Fraud 1413 articles

Uber Agrees to Pay Record $148M To Settle Data Breach Coverup

Uber will pay $148 million to settle an investigation into a massive 2016 data breach that the ride-hailing company allegedly covered up by paying off the hackers. The nationwide settlement, led by California, is the largest-ever multi-state data breach settlement. The settlement funds will be divided equally among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data breach exposed the names, email addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information of 57 million Uber users, but the company did not disclose the hack until late 2017. Uber managed to keep the data breach out of public view until late 2017, ... Read More

Facebook Security Breach Affects 50 Million Accounts

Approximately 50 million Facebook accounts were hijacked by hackers through a vulnerability in the social media app’s “View As” feature, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday, Sept. 28. “On Tuesday, we discovered that an attacker exploited a technical vulnerability to steal access tokens that would allow them to log into about 50 million people’s accounts on Facebook,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in a Sept. 27 Facebook post. “This attack exploited the complex interaction of multiple issues in our code. It stemmed from a change we made to our video uploading feature in July 2017, which impacted ‘View As,'” said Guy Rosen, ... Read More

SEC Awards Overseas Whistleblower $4 Million

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has paid nearly $4 million to an overseas whistleblower whose “extensive assistance” helped regulators take a successful enforcement action against the offending company. “Whistleblowers, whether they are located in the U.S. or abroad, provide a valuable service to investors and help us stop wrongdoing,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a Sept. 24 announcement. “This award recognizes the continued, important assistance provided by the whistleblower throughout the course of the investigation.” September has been an active month for the SEC’s Whistleblower program, which has been ... Read More

Flint Administrator’s Whistleblower Retaliation Suit Revived on Appeal

A former Flint, Michigan city administrator’s whistleblower retaliation complaint against the city has been revived by a federal appeals court. According to Michigan Radio, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said there’s a key dispute over significant facts in Natasha Henderson’s whistleblower claim that a jury should sort out. “Henderson has mustered sufficient circumstantial evidence of a retaliatory motive to prevent summary judgment,” Circuit Judge Jane B. Stranch wrote in an opinion as part of a three-judge panel, according to MLive. In August 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox dismissed Ms. Henderson’s complaint against the city of Flint, ... Read More

Pain Clinic Operator Busted for Opioid, Medicare Fraud

A nurse practitioner whose New Hampshire pain clinic wrote hundreds of opioid painkiller prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries in “drive-by” office visits has pleaded guilty to charges of health care and prescription fraud, federal officials announced. New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Scott Murray said that Kristen Khanna, the operator of Total Pain Care and Wellness of Salem, New Hampshire, allowed a non-professional office worker to write opioid prescriptions to Medicare beneficiaries. According to the U.S. Attorney’s announcement, Ms. Khanna left the office employee with a pad of blank prescription forms that she signed. The employee would then fill them out and give ... Read More

Mercedes-Benz Sued Over Allegedly Dangerously Defective Transmissions

Certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles with 722.9 7G-Tronic transmissions are the basis of a class-action lawsuit alleging the transmissions have a dangerous defect that allows them to suddenly slip into low gear and fail prematurely. The class-action covers owners and lessees of Mercedes vehicles with the allegedly defective transmissions in California and Kansas. According to CarComplaints.com, the lawsuit alleges that technical service bulletins Mercedes sent to dealerships show that the automaker knew of the safety defect yet took no measures to warn its customers or recall the vehicles. The safety defect is so common that at one point Mercedes was unable to ... Read More

Wells Fargo Customers Reporting Unauthorized Amazon Charges

Scores of Wells Fargo customers are reporting unauthorized Amazon Prime charges on their debit cards even when they aren’t a Prime member. So far, the fraudulent charges, which are initiated by an unknown source, appear to be clustered in the Richmond, Virginia area, according to Richmond’s WWBT NBC12. Several other cases have been reported in North Carolina and Kentucky. An Amazon spokesperson said it is aware of the fraudulent charges and says that Wells Fargo customers should take the issue up with the bank. However, if the fraudulent charges continue to appear after alerting Wells Fargo, then consumers are advised ... Read More

SEC Awards 3 Whistleblowers $55.5 Million in Two Separate Cases

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Whistleblower Office recently announced it has paid out more than $55.5 million to three whistleblowers who assisted regulators in stopping violations, fraud, and other misconduct harming investors. On Sept. 6, the SEC said that it had awarded two whistleblowers who assisted regulators in the same case. One whistleblower will receive a $39 million award – the agency’s second-largest payout to date – and the other will receive a $15 million award for providing “critical information and continued assistance” that helped the SEC crack down on the offending company. On Sept. 14, the SEC ... Read More

FTC Shuts Down Military Copycat Websites

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it has resolved civil charges against two Alabama-based companies that ran copycat military websites to trick potential recruits into submitting their personal information, which they then sold to post-secondary schools for profit. According to the FTC, Sunkey Publishing Inc. and Fanmail.com LLC have agreed to surrender Army.com, Armyenlist.com, Navyenlist.com, and other domain names. The agency said the companies used the websites to generate admissions leads, which they sold to post-secondary schools for $15-$40 per lead. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the companies created the copycat websites to appear to be official recruiting websites affiliated ... Read More

Price Gouging Laws In Effect As Hurricane Florence Barrels Into the Carolinas

Hurricanes bring widespread destruction with them but they also bring out the best of human nature when residents and communities pull together to help each another recover. Unfortunately, hurricanes can also reveal the shady side of some individuals and businesses when they take advantage of a hurricane or other crisis to inflate prices excessively. Price-gouging takes many forms, from a $10 gallon of gas to thousands of dollars for a tree removal. As Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, government officials urged residents to report any instances of price gouging they encounter. “My office is here to protect North ... Read More