Data Protection And The Importance of Keeping It Safe

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

United Kingdom: stamp
United Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

This story intrigued me as it is very close to my heart on protecting information supplied by my clients! After 25 years plus l now have a Consumer Credit Licence with no renewal date, as l have had one so long.

Anyway getting to the reason for the post and the fact that any data given to me, is given in the strictest confidence. Then it is up to me, like a doctor, not to disclose this to anyone! Well for far too long many companies have come a  “Cold Calling” at the door by phone, email and the text message ,asking with out any ones permission pertinent questions, that l call impertinent questions.

Firstly we do not know who they are and where they got our name and basic details of our life, but they ask first for our name, this is when you say” l do not given out this type of information under the “Data Protection Act” then they ignore what l have said and say well this is just a short-survey and will take just 5 minutes, of your time and we can “Save You Money”, how l wonder! As to save me money, they first have to get me to answer their short-survey!

By me answering their questions l implicitly agree under the  “Data Protection Acts” disclosure rule, if l do not agree, that should end the conversation. Then as l have not complied with their request in writing and they have not equally requested information in writing, prior to their call, again this should end the conversation! As in both cases they are not then entitled to ask for anymore information, as you have been neither implicit or complicit! Though in so many cases they will take your silence to mean you agree!

It is then armed with their so-called idea of me agreeing, that they ask the first question!  Then l say and l suggest you say the same ” I Do Not Answer Questions” over the phone, as l do not know who you are!

It is then they revert back to “We Can Save You Money” ! Nowadays they are persistent as they are on a “Commission Based” earner and press the case, it is then l say NO again! They retort with “So You Do not Want To Save Money” then a pregnant pause and l answer I did not ask you to ring me and please take NO for an answer!!

I am told by my clients that at this point, they cave in and end up in debt and thus l have to get them out of a contract, be it power companies, finance houses and credit card and loan companies!

But please harken to these words “Any information” you give them over the phone, should be agreed in writing first, as you have to invite them into your home or life! Anything you tell them will be use in evidence against you ,to sell you what you so often do not want and this information will be kept, on a computer, file or as in this case discarded!

It is up to me as a professional in debt management services to protect your information and shred, return or discard of it correctly. And not too, as so many companies are doing, consider it is just for commission or profit purposes! With some dumping your data anywhere or everywhere or selling it to the highest bidder!

Extract: Please take time if you have it to read article as so many of these companies never get caught, its your “Data” not theirs and if you ever have a problem contact me!

A company that provides management services to more than 300 payday loan and check cashing stores, and an affiliated company that owns and operates several stores, will pay $101,500 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated federal law by allowing sensitive consumer information to be tossed into trash dumpsters.

The FTC charged that PLS Financial Services, Inc., and The Payday Loan Store of Illinois, Inc., failed to take reasonable measures to protect consumer information, resulting in the disposal of documents containing sensitive personal identifying information – including Social Security numbers, employment information, loan applications, bank account information, and credit reports – in unsecured dumpsters near several PLS Loan Stores or PLS Check Cashers locations.  PLS Group, Inc., which owns PLS Financial Services and The Payday Loan Store of Illinois, was also named in the complaint.

According to the complaint filed by the FTC, PLS Financial Services and The Payday Loan Store of Illinois violated the FTC’s Disposal Rule by failing to take reasonable steps to protect against unauthorized access to consumer information in the disposal of credit reports.  They also allegedly violated the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Safeguards Rule and Privacy Rule, which require financial institutions to develop and use safeguards to protect consumer information, and deliver privacy notices to consumers.  Further, the FTC charged that all three defendants violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting that they had implemented reasonable measures to protect sensitive consumer information.

This is the third time the FTC has charged a violation of the Disposal Rule, which requires that companies dispose of credit reports and information derived from them in a safe and secure manner.

According to the FTC complaint, PLS Group owns approximately two dozen operating companies, such as The Payday Loan Store of Illinois, that in turn own and operate more than 300 retail stores in nine states under the names PLS Loan Stores and PLS Check Cashers.  These stores offer a variety of products and services, including payday loans, check cashing, automobile title loans, debit cards, phone cards, and notary services.  PLS Financial Services provides management services to the PLS Loan Stores and PLS Check Cashers locations, including establishing their policies and procedures for the handling and disposal of consumer financial information.

In addition to the $101,500 civil penalty imposed on PLS Financial Services and the Payday Loan Store of Illinois for violation of the Disposal Rule, the settlement bars all the companies from violating the Disposal, Safeguards and Privacy Rules and from misrepresenting the extent to which they maintain and protect the privacy and integrity of personal information.  The order also requires that the companies carry out and maintain a data security program with independent third-party audits every other year for the next 20 years.  It also contains certain bookkeeping and record keeping provisions to allow the Commission to monitor compliance with its order.

The Commission vote to approve the proposed consent decree was 5-0.  The Department of Justice filed the proposed consent decree on behalf of the Commission in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  It was signed by the judge and entered by the court on November 1, 2012.

NOTE:  This consent judgment is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated.  Consent judgments have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

Courtesy of the FTC to read article just click this link “Companies Dump Data” or email me at leave-your-views@yopmail.com alternatively you can visit my brand new group at Adam Christian Debt Management Services  if you a have debt or just need help and guidance.

KEEP YOUR DATA SAFE AND DO NOT DISCLOSE IT TO ANYONE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE FIRST.

#federal-trade-commission, #financial-services, #ftc, #loan, #payday-loan, #payday-loan-store-of-illinois, #pls-financial-services, #pls-group

Special Offers Are Not As Special As You Think

English: Frame of an animation by the U.S. Fed...

English: Frame of an animation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/ecards/phishing/index.html intended to educate citizens about phishing tactics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 9,282 refund checks to consumers who were deceived by false promises that they could earn real income if they bought and followed the “Stefanchik Program” to buy and sell privately held promissory notes and mortgages. The FTC alleged that claims made by John Stefanchik and his company, Beringer Corporation, were false and unsubstantiated, and that most consumers made no money at all. The refunds are a result of a court settlement resolving a money judgment against the defendants.

More than $855,000 is being returned to consumers; each payment will be $92.16. Consumers who receive the checks from the FTC’s refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the date they were issued.

This article provided by the FTC started me thinking about HOW and WHY people click links and sign-up to what seems impossible, on the face of it!

My conclusions were quite revealing as in most cases, people l spoke to say! ” Well it might have been true and l could have made a lot of money! The key reason people apply for any special offer ” It might have been true” but dig a little deeper and you find out that it was only a hope!

I have received a lot of ” Special Offers” look at where they are from and Google website details or even their email in some cases and check it out! Everyone is either offering at a cost per month to give you the perfect way to obtain, information on HOW to make money online!

In fact the only people l have found that make money are those that charge you $79.95 per month and you get a FREE DVD well how can paying $79.95 per month be FREE? So the truth is we BELIEVE what others tell us and we WANT it to make us millions!

REMEMBER: Google AD Words make Google more than you make as every time someone clicks your link, you pay Google $1 and you earn once the person on search to your link ” Buys Your Product” not before.

So WHY do you even THINK these people will be any different and will give you something for nothing!

A UK programme l watch is called Hustle and their favourite phrase is:

” We give people nothing for something and not something for nothing”

Well that answers my question but everyone wants to BELIEVE one day, it will be a truthful SPECIAL OFFER!

#beringer-corporation, #consumer, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #google, #john-stefanchik, #safari, #stefanchik-program

More than $723,000 being returned to consumers

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Trade Commission mailed more than 13,000 refund checks to consumers who were allegedly deceived by a company that claimed it would negotiate with lenders to change the consumers’ mortgages and make them more affordable. To resolve FTC charges, First Universal Lending and its owners agreed to an order banning them from the mortgage relief services business.

The FTC alleged that the operators of First Universal Lending encouraged homeowners to stop making mortgage payments. The defendants charged consumers up-front fees, but then did little or nothing to help them, the agency charged.

The checks were mailed by an administrator working for the FTC. More than $723,000 was returned to consumers. The amount varied based upon the amount of each consumer’s loss. Those who receive checks from the FTC’s refund administrator should cash them on or before October 6, 2012. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. Consumers with questions should call the refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC, at 1-888-251-6825, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds.

To learn how to avoid mortgage help relief scams, read the FTC’s Mortgage Assistance Relief Scams: Another Potential Stress for Homeowners in Distress and Mortgage Payments Sending You Reeling? Here’s What to Do.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

#confidence-trick, #consumer, #consumer-topics, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #limited-liability-company, #mortgage-loan, #unfair-business-practices

Protecting People From Scams – Sweepstakes

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Trade Commission mailed 503 refund checks to consumers who were allegedly tricked into paying a fee to collect a fake multi-million-dollar sweepstakes prize. The FTC alleged that operators of the scam, collectively known as Prize Information Bureau, sent personalized mailers, some with fictitious government agency names and official-looking seals, to hundreds of thousands of consumers.

The refund checks were mailed by an administrator working for the FTC. More than $183,000 was returned to consumers. The amount varied based upon the amount of each consumer’s loss. Those who receive the checks from the FTC’s refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the date they were issued. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. Consumers with questions should call the refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC, at 1-888-251-6826, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds.

To learn how to avoid these kinds of scams, read the FTC’s Prize Offers: You Don’t Have to Pay to Play.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to give information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

#consumer, #consumer-topics, #facebook, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #limited-liability-company, #twitter, #unfair-business-practices

Company Paid $25 Million for Refunds to Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Advertising advertising

Advertising advertising (Photo credit: Toban Black)

I decided just recently that it would be useful to my readers to obtain information about cases that being ardently chased for either, malpractice, deception or misleading the public!

So my first post relates courtesy of FTC to deceptive advertising:

Firstly and as usual l will provide the extract and then comment accordingly and ask anyone interested to comment! Also readers can comment or provide their news or views and email me at Ace News Desk

Extract:

In connection with the Federal Trade Commission’s settlement with Reebok International Ltd, a settlement administrator is mailing approximately 315,000 checks to consumers who bought allegedly deceptively advertised toning shoes and apparel from the company. 

Ads for Reebok’s toning shoes claimed that sole technology featuring pockets of moving air creates “micro instability” that tones and strengthens muscles as you walk or run.   

As part of its efforts to stem overhyped health claims, the FTC last year alleged that Reebok deceptively advertised its “toning shoes” by claiming that consumers wearing the shoes would strengthen and tone leg and buttock muscles more than by wearing regular shoes.  Reebok paid $25 million for refunds as part of its settlement agreement with the agency.

The amount each consumer gets back is based on the amount the consumer claimed to have spent on the products.  Consumers will receive approximately 87 percent of the amount on their claim forms that was submitted and approved.  The deadline for filing a refund request has expired. 

Consumers should carefully evaluate advertising claims for work-out gear and exercise equipment.  For more information see:  How’s that Work-out Working Out?  Tips on Buying Fitness Gear.

My Comment:

This is very much that what we are told on that this product does not provide under a simple rule of ” Fit For Purpose” and thus provides the consumer with misleading information! In this case the FTC  has agreed a settlement, in favour of said consumer!

In many cases these types of cases get lost in translation and never get aired, so if you know of any! Be they miscarriages of justice, unfair trading or products that do not live up to what we are told! Please let me know!

 

 

 

 

#25-million, #ace-news, #consumer, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #physical-exercise, #reebok, #rocker-bottom-shoe, #settlement